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Tropical Storm Marco moves away from Cancun, Riviera Maya coast, poses no threat

Isla Mujeres, Q.R. — UPDATED (bottom): Tropical depression Catorce, which according to forecasts was expected to hit the coast near Tulum Saturday afternoon, has changed course. The tropical depression has now developed into Tropical Storm Marco and has a trajectory set for the island of Isla Mujeres.

The Government of Mexico says the storm, which continues to intensify, is located east-southeast of Cozumel and is slowly making its way toward the coast of Quintana Roo at 19 km/h. Upon landing, Tropical Storm Marco is predicted to arrive with sustained winds of 85 km/h and gusts of 105 km/h.

They report a surveillance zone for hurricane winds remains in effect from Punta Herrero to Cancún, while tropical storm winds are expected from Punta Herrero, Quintana Roo to Dzilam de Bravo, Yucatán.

Six municipalities remain with a yellow (medium) alert from Civil Protection which asks residents to take precautions and be prepared for possible evacuations.

Municipalities under the yellow alert are Benito Juárez (Cancun), Lázaro Cárdenas, Isla Mujeres, Solidaridad, Cozumel and Puerto Morelos, while Tulum, Felipe Carrillo Puerto, Bacalar, José María Morelos and Othón P. Blanco remain on green (low) alert.

Tropical Storm Marco is forecast to reach the island of the municipality of Isla Mujeres Saturday evening. As of Saturday morning, Civil Protection began to monitor the development of the storm as well as implement emergency protocol for islanders.

During a Friday night broadcast, Quintana Roo Governor Carlos Joaquín González ruled out hotel evacuations in the north of the state, adding that the evacuation plans for Punta Allen have also been scrapped now that the storm has taken a more northern approach.

For Holbox and the Lázaro Cárdenas municipality, Joaquin said that there are no evacuation plans, but equipment and machinery have been established to help prevent flooding. Each of the municipalities have emergency refuge shelters ready in the event they are needed. Municipal authorities around the state have been trimming trees, clearing street drains, removing debris and ensure emergency shelters are ready.

For Tropical Storm Marco, the Government of Mexico reports torrential rains in Yucatán and Quintana Roo with waves of 3 to 5 meters. NOAA reports hurricane hunter aircraft finds Tropical Storm Marco continuing to strengthen.

As of 7:00 a.m., Marco was located 180 kms east of the island of Cozumel, they said also adding that a hurricane watch remains in effect for Punta Herrero to Cancun Mexico, while a tropical storm warning is in effect for Punta Herrero to Dzilam, Mexico.

UPDATE: As of 10:00 a.m. Saturday, Tropical Storm Marco continued to move northeast away from the coast of Quintana Roo. The NOAA reports that the government of Cuba has issued a Tropical Storm Warning for the province of Pinar del Rio, while the government of Mexico has discontinued the Hurricane Watch and Tropical Storm Warning for the eastern Yucatan coast south of Cancun.

The storm is expected to gain hurricane status and remain as such until it makes landfall along the U.S. Gulf Coast Monday afternoon.

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