Emergency Message – Hurricane Ingrid and Tropical Storm Manuel

This warden message is being issued to alert U.S. citizens residing and traveling in Mexico that the National Hurricane Center (NHC), www.nhc.noaa.gov/, has issued a warning for Hurricane Ingrid, currently located in the Gulf of Mexico on the eastern coast of Mexico near the states of Tamaulipas and Veracruz.  According to Mexico’s La Comisión Nacional del Agua (CNA), www.cna.gob.mx, Ingrid is expected to make landfall Monday on the coasts north of Veracruz and south of Tamaulipas. From there, Ingrid is expected to move inland towards San Luis Potosi.  Ingrid is expected to produce torrential rains of 10 to 15 inches over a large part of eastern Mexico.  Isolated amounts of 25 inches of rain are also possible. These rains are likely to result in life-threatening flash floods and mud slides, especially in regions of mountainous terrain. El Servicio Meteorológico Nacional of Mexico (SMN), www.smn.cna.gob.mex, recommends that people residing in the coastal areas of the Gulf of Mexico and areas in eastern Mexico take precautions against the effects of rain, strong winds, and large and destructive waves.

Separately, the Government of Mexico has issued a tropical storm watch for Tropical Storm Manuel.  Currently, Manuel is moving towards the southwestern coast of Mexico and is likely to make landfall late on Sept. 15. Manuel is expected to produce torrential rains of 5 to 15 inches in the states of Guerrero, Michoacán, Colima, Jalisco, Nayarit, Zacatecas, Guanajuato, Queretaro, Mexico State, Distrito Federal, Morelos, and Oaxaca. Isolated amounts of 25 inches of rain are also possible. These rains are likely to result in life-threatening flash floods and mud slides, especially in regions of mountainous terrain. El Servicio Meteorológico Nacional of Mexico (SMN), www.smn.cna.gob.mex, recommends that people residing in the above-mentioned states take precautions against the effects of rain, strong winds, and large and destructive waves. U.S. citizens should monitor local radio, local media, and the National Weather Service and Servicio Meteorológico Nacional to stay aware of area weather developments.  Minor tropical storms can develop into hurricanes very quickly, limiting the time available for a safe evacuation.  Travelers should apprise family and friends of their whereabouts and remain in close contact with hotel staff and/or local officials for evacuation instructions in a weather emergency.

In the aftermath of some previous storms, U.S. citizens traveling abroad have encountered uncomfortable and often dangerous conditions that have lasted for several days while awaiting transportation back to the United States.  In the past, many U.S. citizens have been forced to delay travel due to infrastructure damage to airports and limited flight availability.  Roads were also washed out or obstructed by debris, adversely affecting access to airports and land routes out of affected areas.  Reports of looting and sporadic violence in the aftermath of natural disasters are not uncommon.  Security personnel may not be readily available to assist at all times.  In the event of a hurricane, travelers should be aware that they may not be able to depart the area for 24-48 hours or longer.

Additional information on hurricanes and storm preparedness may be found on the Bureau of Consular Affairs’ Hurricane Season – Know Before You Go webpage: http://travel.state.gov/content/passports/en/emergencies/natural-disasters/HurricaneSeason.html

We strongly encourage U.S. citizens to enroll with the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate through the Department of State’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) website at https://travelregistration.state.gov/ibrs/ui/.  By enrolling, you will receive the most recent security and safety updates during your trip.  Enrollment also ensures that you can be reached during an emergency.  While we will do our utmost to assist you in a crisis, be aware that local authorities bear primary responsibility for the welfare of people living or traveling in their jurisdictions.