Tropical Storm Gamma leaves 6 dead, as another storm forms in Caribbean that could affect the U.S.


Fishermen try to protect their boats from heavy rains due to the passage of Storm Gamma in Puerto Morelos, Quintanaroo State, Mexico, on October 03, 2020. – Tropical Storm Gamma is located on Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula (southeast), where it causes heavy rains and could become a hurricane this Saturday, the U.S. National Hurricane Center (NHC) informed in its latest report. (Photo by ELIZABETH RUIZ / AFP) (Photo by ELIZABETH RUIZ/AFP via Getty Images)

MEXICO CITY (NewsNation Now) — At least 6 people died and thousands were evacuated in southeastern Mexico after Tropical Storm Gamma lashed the Yucatan Peninsula’s resort-studded coast with near-hurricane force winds and drenched Tabasco and Chiapas states, authorities said Sunday.

Mexico’s civil defense agency said in a statement that four of the deaths, including two children, were in Chiapas, where a landslide on a mountainous slope buried their home. The other two deaths were in Tabasco state, where one person was dragged away by the water and another drowned.

As of 4 a.m. CDT Monday, Gamma had drifted southwest to just north of the Yucatan Peninsula, according to the National Hurricane Center. Mexican authorities continued to warn people in the Yucatan as Gamma remained stalled offshore. A tropical storm warning was in effect from north and west of Cancun to Dzilam Mexico as well as west of Dziliam to Campeche.

The hurricane center said Gamma has maximum sustained winds of 60 mph.

The NHC said Gamma could possibly move inland along the coast of the northwest coast of the Yucatan Peninsula Tuesday night. Heavy rainfall is expected which could lead to flashing flooding.

Gamma, along with cold fronts, combined over the weekend to cause extreme rains in parts of the Yucatan Peninsula and Chiapas, affecting more than half a million people. The hardest-hit state was Tabasco, where more than 3,400 were evacuated to shelters.

The storm came ashore Saturday near Tulum with maximum sustained winds of nearly 70 mph— 4 mph (9 kph short of hurricane force), according to the NHC.

The state’s tourism department reported Friday on Twitter that more than 41,000 tourists were present in Quintana Roo, with hotels in Cancun and Cozumel already at more than 30% occupancy. The area only recently reopened to tourism after a pandemic shutdown.

Tropical Storm Delta became a tropical storm in the Caribbean Monday morning. Tropical storm conditions were expected in the Cayman Islands Monday night with heavy rainfall in Jamaica and western Cuba.

The NHC forecast the system is likely to form into a hurricane and approach the Gulf Coast late this week. This could lead to storm surge, wind and rainfall from Louisiana to the western Florida panhandle.

Photo: NHC

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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