Dozens of manatees are dying mysteriously in southern Mexico, near oil and gas site

08/09/18 Washington Post

On one of the coldest Florida winter days in history, a young male Florida manatee calf floats and enjoys the warmth over a blue freshwater spring outflow.

Carol Grant—Getty Images

As many as 50 manatees have died, floating to the surface of rivers and lagoons in Mexico’s southern state of Tabasco, where some of the country’s major oil wells have been operating for decades. Fish, reptiles, birds and other marine animals have also died suddenly, and scientists are scrambling to figure out the cause.

“It could be one of the greatest environmental emergencies we have had in recent times,” Ernesto Zazueta, president of the Association of Zoos, Breeders and Aquariums of Mexico (AZCARM), told the El Universal newspaper.

On May 18, residents of the municipality of Bitzales found a lifeless manatee floating in the water. They assumed it was an isolated incident, or that the animal had been sick. But in the weeks the followed, more and more dead manatees were found in the state’s waterways. Fishermen reported that suddenly they weren’t catching anything, and dead fish also began floating to the surface.

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Mexico to build seaweed barriers to protect beaches

08/09/18 Washington Post

Photo: Eduardo Verdugo/Associated Press

A Mexican environmental agency said Thursday that is constructing barriers at sea just beyond its famed Riviera Maya beaches to decrease the huge amounts of seaweed washing up onshore.

Alfredo Arellano Guillermo, environment chief for Quintana Roo state, said he hopes to have the anti-sargassum structures in place by next week.

His agency said in a statement that the barriers don’t pose any risk to marine fauna and commercial boats.

Since June 19, dump trucks have hauled off more than 4 million cubic feet of sargassum from Quintana Roo’s beaches, including at the resorts of Cancun and Playa del Carmen.

2 tropical storms storms gaining force off Mexico’s coast

08/06/18 Washington Post

hurricaneTwo new tropical storms were strengthening off Mexico on Monday and both were projected to reach hurricane force while marching northwestward parallel to the coast, bringing heavy surf.

The U.S. National Hurricane Center said Tropical Storm John was expected to strengthen rapidly and become a hurricane by Monday and a major hurricane by Tuesday. Tropical Storm Ileana also was growing while racing John up the coastline.

John was centered about 335 miles (540 kilometers) southwest of the Mexican port of Manzanillo early Monday, with maximum sustained winds of 60 mph (95 kph). It was moving west-northwest at 8 mph (13 kph). It was forecast to peak as a Category 3 storm before starting to weaken, while staying to the west of the Baja California Peninsula during the week.

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Mexico City’s first woman mayor wants car firms’ help to end smog

08/01/2018 Reuters

Sheinbaum.PNGMexico City’s first woman mayor plans to significantly improve air quality in the smoggy capital, one of the world’s largest cities, by consulting with car manufacturers on a plan for stricter emissions standards, she said in an interview.

Environmental scientist Claudia Sheinbaum, 56, who won the election with a large margin and takes office in December, said a top priority was to reduce particulate contamination by 40 percent in her six year term.

The city of some 21 million people, known for its deathly smog in the 1980s, made strides towards cleaner air at the turn of the century with measures that restricted the use of older vehicles and moved major industry out of town.

While its air remains far better than smoke-choked Asian capitals such as Delhi, India, in 2016 the city government issued for the first time in 14 years an air quality contingency warning, a measure taken when pollution reaches levels that seriously threaten health.

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Mild earthquake shakes Mexico City, residents evacuate buildings

07/19/2018 Reuters

Mexico CityA 5.7 magnitude earthquake rattled Mexico City on Thursday morning, triggering the city’s seismic alarm and causing some residents to flee from their homes and offices.

There were no immediate reports of injuries or damage from the quake, which was felt in some parts of the capital.

The earthquake’s epicenter was near the town of Huajuapan de Leon in southern Oaxaca state at a depth of 34 miles (55 km), according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

Mexico City shopping center collapses; no reported deaths

07/12/2018 Reuters

1985_Mexico_Earthquake_-_Pina_Suarez_Apartment_ComplexA portion of a multilevel luxury shopping center in Mexico City collapsed on Thursday, sending debris flying and kicking up clouds of gray dust, television images showed.

No deaths or injuries were immediately reported at the site, Mexico’s civil protection agency said.

The shopping center, called Artz Pedregal, in the south of the capital opened in March, according to local media.

Mexico City’s head of civil protection Fausto Lugo said that the cause was structural, but that experts would need to investigate whether the specific problem related to its design, construction or materials.

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Moderate quake strikes western Mexico, no reports of damage

06/29/2018 Reuters


An earthquake measuring 6.1 magnitude struck the Pacific coast of Mexico on Friday, 88 kilometres (55 miles) west-southwest offshore from Cihuatlan, in Jalisco state, the United States Geological Survey reported.

The USGS estimated the depth of the tremor at 10 km.

Luis Felipe Puente, head of the country’s Civil Protection agency, said on Twitter that the quake had been felt only lightly and that there were no reports of damage so far. Monitoring would continue, he said.

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