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Michael passes Cancun, Riviera Maya without incident, forecast to hit US as major hurricane

Cancun, Riviera Maya, Q.R. — Aside from sporadic rain and hefty wind gusts, Tropical Storm Michael passed the Cancun, Riviera Maya region without much incident and is now forecast to hit the US as a major hurricane.

On Sunday afternoon, meteorologists reported the system stalling then moving east away from the Quintana Roo coast. By evening, the storm took a turn outward to sea and was located 205 kilometers from Cozumel when passing Quintana Roo.

During the early evening hours, Governor Carlos Joaquín reported “The tropical storm this afternoon was located about 200 kilometers southeast of Cozumel, however, between 7:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. there will be winds between 60 and 70 kilometers per hour.”

While there was no direct hit, the region did, however, experience sporadic rain downpours and heavy wind gusts that left some large billboards flattened in Cancun and maritime ports closing in Playa del Carmen.

The cargo crossing at Punta Venado (Calica) to Cozumel suspended their services Sunday due to adverse weather conditions, while ferry company Ultramar continued with crossings as usual until 8:00 p.m. when they ended services for the day early due to the storm.

Authorities from Civil Protection were out manning local beach areas due to the threat of high waves that were expected to arrive with tropical storm Michael. After passing Quintana Roo and the Yucatan, Michael continued to gain strength and as of 11:00 a.m. Monday, became a hurricane.

Currently, a hurricane warning is in effect for portions of western Cuba.

According to NOAA, Tropical Storm Michael is headed northward over the Western Caribbean and is expected to make landfall along the U.S. Gulf Coast between Alabama and the Florida Panhandle on Wednesday, most likely as a major hurricane with wind speeds greater than 110 mph.