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Norma Downgraded to Tropical Storm as Hurricane Tammy Spares Barbuda




Norma was reclassified as a tropical storm on Sunday as it entered mainland Mexico, while Hurricane Tammy left Barbuda in the Caribbean with minimal damage.

Originally a Category 4 hurricane, Norma made landfall on Saturday as a Category 1 near the Pacific resort of Los Cabos on the southern tip of Mexico’s Baja California Peninsula.

In Barbuda, tens of thousands were left without power before Tammy arrived hours later with the same intensity.

Though Norma’s winds had weakened, they continued to cause damage as the storm moved northeast, crossing the Gulf of California towards mainland Mexico in the state of Sinaloa. The government announced school closures for Monday and the opening of 120 shelters.

According to the U.S. National Hurricane Center in Miami, Norma was approximately 120 miles west of Culiacan and 65 miles south-southwest of Los Mochis. The storm was moving northeastward across the Gulf of California with maximum sustained winds of 60 mph.

The NHC anticipated that heavy rains from Norma would persist in Sinaloa until at least Monday, affecting some areas of southern Baja California. They also warned of the potential for flooding and mudslides.

In Los Cabos, some streets were blocked by fallen trees, but tourists began to venture out as the hurricane posed no major threat. The airport in San Jose del Cabo reopened its operations.

By midday Sunday, Baja California Sur authorities had not reported any fatalities and mentioned only that an Argentinean tourist had been injured. The primary damage was to boats, with three of them sinking.

The Mexican navy deployed 5,000 marines to assist the states affected by Norma with ships, helicopters, trucks, food, water, and first aid.

In the meantime, Antigua and Barbuda were fortunate to avoid injuries from Hurricane Tammy. A last-minute shift spared the mainland from a direct hit, but Barbuda faced the full force of the storm during the late night hours on Saturday.

Prime Minister Gaston Browne expressed relief, stating that there was no significant damage, and the island received some much-needed rain. The hurricane caused minor power line damage, resulting in an islandwide blackout and minor home damage. A local rescue team evacuated at least two families.

Tammy struck with the memory of Hurricane Irma, a Category 5 storm that devastated the island in 2017, fresh in the minds of Barbudans. Mainland Antigua experienced minimal damage, with only a few broken branches and utility lines.

The timeline for power restoration in Barbuda and a few communities in Antigua that lost power during the storm remained uncertain as assessment crews were still evaluating the damage.


Meanwhile, Tropical Storm Otis developed over the Pacific, far from any landmass. The National Hurricane Center reported that Otis was approximately 500 miles south-southeast of Acapulco, Mexico. It was moving north-northwest at 5 mph with maximum sustained winds of 40 mph.

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The NHC predicted that Otis would maintain its status as a storm as it approached Mexico, eventually downgrading to a tropical depression by Friday. However, they cautioned that heavy rainfall could impact coastal areas.

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