Cancún, Q.R.- Due to the effects of Hurricane Irma, numerous beaches from Cancun to Playa del Carmen have either been red flagged or outright closed.
Although the hurricane did not effect Mexico directly, it has left the coastline of Yucatan and Quintana Roo under red flag beach watch as strong waves continue to wash up on shores well past their usual break point. In many beach areas, waves are washing ashore past restaurants and into beach-side businesses and parking lots.
Head of the State Coordination of Civil Protection (Coeproc), Adrián Martinez Ortega, explained that due to the strong waves that are occurring on beaches in the northern zone of Quintana Roo, state authorities have decided to close access to many of the beaches to ensure the safety of beachgoers.
He said that at least 24 hours from yesterday afternoon (Sunday) the closing of the beaches will be in force, so he asks the public to comply with the instructions of Civil Protection and lifeguards if they are going to the beach.
Adrián Martínez Ortega explained that the waves from Hurricane Irma are due to a phenomenon known as mar de fondo or deep sea and is the reason for the restricted beach access all the way to Solidaridad.
Municipal Directorates of Benito Juárez, Isla Mujeres, Lázaro Cárdenas and Solidaridad have restricted sea access, placing the red flag warnings of strong waves and currents all along the coast.
In Isla Mujeres, the ferry dock of Puerto Juárez for the vehicles crossing has been suspended due to the strong waves. They will reopen when sea conditions improve.
The Port Authority of Quintana Roo (Apiqroo), Alicia Ricalde Magaña, reported that due to security measures, it was decided to change the Cozumel-Playa del Carmen boat route due to the strong waves caused by the remnants of Irma.
State Civil Protection warns people living along the coast to understand the wave situation due to Hurricane Irma. They also note that maritime navigation has been restricted to boats under 40 feet as well as the suspension of all water activities.
Mar de Fondo is the movement of waves or wave system that spreads out of the area where it has been created, being able to reach far away places. In this state, the sea waves have no relation with the presence of wind, but is the result of wind that originated in another area. Mar de Fondo is not the same as a tsunami, since a tsunami is the result of a seismic movement.