Wednesday, May 29, 2013

2 People Die Before Barbara Downgrades to a Tropical Storm

After the center of the storm passed over land, the storm has weakened. Wind speed is now 50 MPH, moving in a North-Northeast direction. Before it started to weaken, the storm claimed 2 lives. One of the fatalities was an American from Colorado, age 61 who died while surfing at Playa Azul, a beach near the resort town of Puerto Escondido. Barbara made landfall at mid-afternoon as a Category 1 hurricane about 120 miles to the east. The director of civil defense for Oaxaca state, Manuel Maza Sanchez claims the man was dragged out by waves kicked up by Barbara and then he was battered against a shore. The second fatality was a 26 year old Mexican man who drowned in the nearby city of Pinotepa Nacional while trying to cross a rain-swollen creek. Farther to the east where the hurricane came on shore, 14 fishermen set out to sea Wednesday morning in the town of Tapanatepec, Oaxaca, and have been reported missing.
Even with the weakening of the storm, flooding has taken its toll. Back on May 23, the National Hurricane Center said the odds were that there would be a below-normal hurricane season for the eastern Pacific for this year, but already Tropical storm Alvin and Now Hurricane Barbara have developed, in the very first week of the season. To this point, no major storms have developed from the Atlantic waters, but the Atlantic Hurricane season is just around the corner, as it begins on June 1.
Even though Hurricane Barbara was not a very strong hurricane, it made landfall farther east than any other Pacific hurricane since 1966. Usually such storms form closer to the resort of Acapulco, to the west.
If things go as they are at present, the storm will dissipate well before it reaches the Isthmus of Tehuantepec and will just be a rain system well before reaching the oil port of Coatzacoalcos.
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