Tropical Storm Gamma battered southeastern Mexico, killing six people

Tropical Storm Gamm, southeastern Mexico.

Tropical Storm Gamma, southeastern Mexico.

Tropical Storm Gamma battered the resort-dotted shores of Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula with near-hurricane force last Saturday, flooding streets, knocking down trees and stranding people trying to return from outlying islands.

A tropical storm warning was in effect for the northern Caribbean coast of the peninsula, covering Cancun, the Riviera Maya and other resorts.

According to the U.S. National Hurricane Center in Miami, the storm headed ashore near Tulum with maximum sustained winds of nearly 70 mph (110 km/h) - 4 miles (9 mph lower than the hurricane).

By mid-afternoon, winds had dropped to 65 mph (100 km/h) and were centered about 35 miles (60 km) northwest of Tulum, moving northwest at 8 mph (13 km/h).

The biggest threat to the area, forecasters say, is the possibility of heavy rains and possible flooding of up to 10 to 15 inches (250 to 375 mm) across the northeastern part of the peninsula, which reopened to tourism after the recent pandemic closure.

Social media reports from the state government of Quintana Roo show police evacuating people from vulnerable shacks and cutting down trees.

The storm forced the suspension of sea ferry services between Cancun and Playa del Carmen and between Cozumel and Isla Mujeres.

The storm was expected to emerge from the northern edge of Yucatan on Sunday, then curve west-southwest into the lower Gulf of Mexico, dropping rain on southern Mexico and much of Central America.

Meanwhile, powerful Hurricane Mary began weakening in the open Pacific Ocean on Saturday.

According to the Hurricane Center, Mary was a Category 4 hurricane with maximum sustained winds of 130 mph (215 km/h) on Friday night, but by Saturday, the winds were down to a Category 3 at 125 mph (205 km/h).

It was centered about 1,150 miles (1,850 kilometers) west of the southern tip of the Baja California peninsula and headed northwest at 9 mph (15 kph).

Forecasters say it should not pose a threat to the land.