Tuesday, March 29, 2022

Isla Mujeres News & Events Tuesday, March 29

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Yesterday's panic in Terminal 3 of the Cancun airport was due to a false alarm from a misinterpretation of a loud noise that occurred when three 'totem-type' signs fell over, which weighing about 50 kilos (110 lbs) each. They were inadvertently pushed over by someone rushing to a gate.
The statement released by ASUR (Grupo Aeroportuario del Sureste), who operate the airport, also clarified that the various versions of what happened, which were "all unfounded", caused the activation of protocols for emergencies and evacuation, in order to safeguard the integrity and safety of those using the airport, the workers, and aircraft. It concluded by saying that any type of risk which would prohibit the terminal from continuing to operate normally was ruled out.

Monday, March 28--(Preliminary Report) There are conflicting reports about the noises that broke the usual Monday routine at Terminal 3 of the Cancun International Airport, and set off a panic among tourists and employees, who ran out in search of shelter, as shown on various videos being shared online. The authorities received an emergency call about gunshots, but have not found anyone wounded, no cartridges, nor other indications of gunfire.
The Quintana Roo Prosecutor's Office (La Fiscalรญa) said that possibly a baggage claim machine exploded, and they were awaiting confirmation from the National Guard. The state Secretary of Security reported via Twitter that "there are no injuries, percussion cartridges or indications that confirm the fact (of shots fired)." In another statement, authorities confirmed that the incident, of which there are multiple versions, is being addressed, adding, "There are no signs of detonations or explosions in any area of the airport."   There's video with this article.
From the Governor: Following up on the events at the Cancun Airport, I am informing you that the Federal Authorities have completed all the inspections and investigations at the scene, which were all negative for gunshots. The airport operator, ASUR (Grupo Aeroportuario del Sureste) issued this statement about it:
       C.O.E.--Emergency Operations Center, Cancun International Airport
     The Emergency Operations Center of Cancun International Airport reports that at 11:23 am, an alert was issued of 3 (in Terminal 3), of an incident, in which there were multiple versions about what was happening, which was handled; the established security protocols were applied, among the COE, the Federal Civil Aviation Agency, the National Guard, the Navy, and ASUR, as well as other authorities, to follow up on the events and to initiate investigations to find the causes of what happened; no signs existed indicating any gunshots were fired nor of any explosions in any area of the airport.
Operations in Terminal 3 were momentarily suspended to ensure safety of the passengers, who were never at risk, and operations resumed minutes later.
     The security forces are currently carrying out investigations to determine what provoked or caused the alert among the passengers and the service staff.
     As soon as we have more information about what happened today, it will be reported.

 Monday, March 28 -- Neighbors put out a fire in colonia La Gloria, which was caused by a hose in bad condition connected to a 20 kilo tank of butane (sic..presumably propane), and moments later personnel with Civil Protection and the firefighters arrived and took charge of the situation. They reported there was no damage nor injuries, except a woman had a 'nervous crisis' and was stabilized by Red Cross personnel. The residents of the street Paseo de la Aves were also given a 'susto' (fright/scare). Screenshots from video by Noti Isla Mujeres...

Sunday, March 27..Description from video in Spanish posted by Noti Isla Mujeres....The reporter explains that various palapas are on fire at Dolphin Discovery, in Sac Bajo, where the firemen of Civil Protection are fighting the flames. He said there were some small explosions inside, and there is white smoke and black smoke as different things burn. At 5 minutes, after the pump cuts out, a new flame begins shooting up (left, roof) and he verifies with a firefighter that it is gas (propane). Then an Aguakan water truck arrives, and the reporter pans the camera to the right, noting that there is a great deal of black smoke coming from the kitchen area, which is on fire. He pans back to the gas fire, noting how dangerous it is, and forceful, and that the nearby cables pose additional danger. He says the firefighters continue working to extinguish the flames in the interior of Dolphin Discovery.  LINK   

Below are the flames from the area of the two stationary propane tanks
 Drone photos of the Dolphin Discovery fire, photo credit to David Amayas

 This reporter says the flames shooting in the air at left from the roof are from two stationary propane tanks. He notes there is a water truck from the Navy, as well as the Aguakan water truck. The fire has consumed nearly all of the palapas of Dolphin Discovery in Sac Bajo. He estimates that practically everything in the interior has been consumed by flames. He believes the fire is under control in the interior, noting that flames are still shooting from the propane tanks, at left. (In this video, you can see the palm branches moving in the wind...the winds caused the flames to spread quickly.) LINK   
 Screenshot from a video of the Dolphin Discovery fire from the sea (posted by Noti Isla Mujeres). There were no injuries to humans & the marine animals are fine as well.

     Sunday afternoon, following the fire at Dolphin Discovery that began around noon, personnel with Civil Protection & the Firefighters, as well as with the Navy and Public Security, continued to work in response to the fire that consumed at least four palapas.
      The Civil Protection Director, Guillermo Morales Lopez, explained that staff were still working at the scene because there were two stationary propane tanks they needed to neutralize. Flames had damaged some of the pipes, causing gas leaks, therefore they were still working and continuing to restrict access to the area, located in Sac Bajo. Assistance was given by the water trucks of Aguakan, as well as the fire truck and water truck of the Navy, which remained on site.
       He said that while the flames had been controlled, there was still a strong odor of gas, coming from leaks in some of the pipes, therefore the firefighters continued to spray water on the ashes.
Mr. Morales explained that the wind played a determining factor in this fire, because it caused the flames to advance very quickly. He said an in-depth investigation into the cause of the fire would be conducted, but at that time, the priority was addressing the issue of the stationery tanks. They had requested assistance from the specialists of ZGas company.
       In the early evening, Mayor Atenea Gomez Ricalde announced that the fire was 100% controlled, including the gas leaks. She said there were no injuries, no loss of human life, and the marine animals were safe.
      She expressed her gratitude to the personnel of ๐—ฃ๐—ฟ๐—ผ๐˜๐—ฒ๐—ฐ๐—ฐ๐—ถ๐—ผ́๐—ป ๐—–๐—ถ๐˜ƒ๐—ถ๐—น ๐˜† ๐—•๐—ผ๐—บ๐—ฏ๐—ฒ๐—ฟ๐—ผ๐˜€ (Civil Protection & Firefighters) and ๐——๐—ถ๐—ฟ๐—ฒ๐—ฐ๐—ฐ๐—ถ๐—ผ́๐—ป ๐—š๐—ฒ๐—ป๐—ฒ๐—ฟ๐—ฎ๐—น ๐—ฑ๐—ฒ ๐—ฆ๐—ฒ๐—ด๐˜‚๐—ฟ๐—ถ๐—ฑ๐—ฎ๐—ฑ ๐—ฃ๐˜‚́๐—ฏ๐—น๐—ถ๐—ฐ๐—ฎ ๐˜† ๐—ง๐—ฟ๐—ฎ́๐—ป๐˜€๐—ถ๐˜๐—ผ ๐— ๐˜‚๐—ป๐—ถ๐—ฐ๐—ถ๐—ฝ๐—ฎ๐—น (municipal Police & Traffic Police Departments), who in coordination with the ๐—”๐—ฟ๐—บ๐—ฎ๐—ฑ๐—ฎ ๐—ฑ๐—ฒ ๐— ๐—ฒ́๐˜…๐—ถ๐—ฐ๐—ผ (Navy) worked to suffocate the flames. She said she appreciated everyone who helped and thanked them for their solidarity, including those with Aguakan , Zeta Gas Sureste , Isla Mujeres Palace , Zoรซtry Villa Rolandi , Ultramar Ferry y ๐—–๐—™๐—˜, who joined in responding to today's emergency call. She expressed her solidarity with all the workers of Dolphin Discovery. She said we'll be awaiting the results of the investigation by the authorities.

 Aerial photos posted by TV Isla Mujeres...

 Monday, March 28-- Screenshots from video by Isla Mujeres al Momento...Cleaning up on Monday...

 Sunday, March 27---Description for video in Spanish of people cleaning up sargasso at the beach, with tourists in the background, and an interview with the Mayor in the foreground.....Cleaning the downtown beaches began at 5am today, after there was an atypical arrival of sargasso. The Mayor brought her children to help, as well as the Directors of the municipal departments and agencies, who are setting an example for other islanders. She reminds the residents and business owners that the island's beautiful beaches benefit everyone and we should all pitch in to help. She said there will be a big effort tomorrow from 6am to 10am, and invited everyone to join. Screenshot from Noti Isla Mujeres video.

March 26... Yesterday's electrical outage on the island was caused by theft of cable at the Cancun Substation, according to CFE's (Federal Electrical Commission) Social Media Communication Director for the Peninsular Zone, and reported by the municipal Secretary General, Hugo Sanchez Montalvo. (There was also a cable down on Guerrero downtown, affecting that area, as well as a suspension scheduled for one hour for the island and part of the Continental Zone, starting at 4p.)
 March 26-- Noti Isla Mujeres notes that while on one hand Aguakan commemorates World Water Day, on the other, they are contaminating the ocean and beach. The video shows wastewater overflowing thru a manhole in the vicinity of Guru and Lotus, near the Playa Riรญto part of North Beach, down the sandy end of the road to the beach and water. This is where the truck was pumping in the photo below. Screenshots from video by Noti Isla Mujeres...

Photo credit Noti Isla Mujeres
Saturday, March 26-- This afternoon, Aguakan was attending to water outages on the island. Photo credit- Noti Isla Mujeres. (That truck is probably pumping wastewater, which is frequently done at that location.)

Friday, March 25 --  The Civil Protection Department is offering a discount to small businesses for the electrical inspection document required to renew their business licenses. (Municipal business licenses are required for tourism rentals, including "B & B's".) This discount is available for those in the "Low Risk" category.
    The Director, Guillermo Morales, explained that in accordance with instructions from the Mayor, the Civil Protection regulations were amended for the convenience of small businesses in the Low Risk category. He estimates that of the 800 to 900 businesses on the island, 80% are in this category. The qualifications for "Low Risk" status are: A constructed area of 100 meters or less, a population of less than 20 people, and its inventory of dangerous materials cannot exceed 6 and fuel cannot exceed 60 kilos or liters.
      He said the format of three pages is available, and for completion of the Civil Protection paperwork, the requested five documents should be attached. (Civil Protection supplies a list of qualified inspectors. It's my understanding that the required documents include Dictamens from the Electrical inspection (and Gas inspection if they have propane tanks), Certificates from the First Aid and Fire Safety Classes, and current Receipts for Fire Extinguisher renewals or purchases. Documentation is now required for businesses with swimming pools, including B & B's. There's also a Civil Protection Internal Program inspection, to ensure all the requirements were completed satisfactorily, including signage indicating the location of extinguishers, the first aid box and the emergency exit routes.)
Mr. Morales called upon the community to cooperate, and for small businesses to have the required municipal procedures in order to prevent possible accidents. Photo credit--Noti Isla Mujeres

Friday, March 25 -- To provide better service for tourists and residents, the public bathrooms downtown will be open from 9am to 9pm, and the bathrooms at Punta Sur will be open from 7:30 to 6:30. The cost is 10 pesos.

Friday, March 25-- The photo op "Isla Mujeres" sign behind the Casa de la Cultura is nearly repaired, after it required maintenance due to the bases rusting from the sea-air. Five of the letters were temporarily removed and are back.

 March 23, Wednesday...Tourists in an 'inebriated state', driving a golf cart from the "Pelicanos" rental agency (#12), were making a U-Turn when their cart tipped over. (You can hear the woman saying they didn't hit or 'wreck' anyone.) The cart was taken to the impound yard and the tourists were taken for a medical assessment by doctors and a determination of responsibilities. Screenshot from Noti Isla Mujeres video.

Friday, March 25-- Isla Mujeres beaches remain free of sargasso, which the Governor notes varies among the state's playas at this time of year. The geographical orientation of the island causes less sargasso to arrive to the islands swimming beaches like Playa Norte and Playa Centro. The ZOFEMAT crew works on the beach early each day, cleaning away litter, raking, sifting and removing any sargasso that washes up. Occasionally, the winds and currents shift, requiring use of the available machinery and more workers.
Graphic credit-Red de Monitorio del Sargazo de Quintana Roo

Thursday night -- Cold Front #38 arrived with winds and rain. Screenshot from video by Noti Isla Mujeres. 

Friday, March 25---Residents of colonia Salina Chica reported a traffic accident on Martinez Ross avenue near the dog grooming business "Pelos" when a golf cart hit 3 parked scooters, reportedly because its brakes failed. It belongs to the rental agency "Prisma" (#28). No one was hurt, which the report notes is very fortunate because there are two schools in the area, as well as a large amount of pedestrian traffic most of the time. The driver and cart were taken to the police station to determine responsibilities. (Although it's not mentioned, rest assured that representatives of the rental agency were also called to the police station.)  Photo credit--Noti Isla Mujeres

Thursday, March 24.... The state Semaforo remains in Green status in both zones of the state thru April 3rd. (Q Roo is also Green on the national system).The infection rate continues to decline and there are zero patients intubated for C19. We're reminded to wear face masks in enclosed areas and crowds. (People serving the public are also required to wear them.)

     An Art & Culture Fair will be held outside the Casa de la Cultura Thursday, April 7th thru Sunday, April 10th featuring Artisans, Dance, Music, Paintings, Workshops, Murals, Entertainment, Fun, Food, and much more...
To participate, register at the Casa de la Cultura Mon-Fri, 9a-4p.

Tuesday, March 22--The photo op "Isla Mujeres" sign behind the Casa de la Cultura is temporarily missing some letters because the bases rusted in the sea air and the City is repairing the sign.  Screenshot from video by Noti Isla Mujeres (shared on Isla Mujeres News & Events)

 Monday, March 21--Today is an official holiday in Mexico....Benito's Birthday! Benito Juarez was the 28th president, beginning in 1858 (during the Reform War) until he died in office 24 years later, from a heart attack. He was Mexico's first indigenous president, and is the only individual Mexican honored with a national public and patriotic holiday.
    Juarez began his career as a lawyer in 1834 in his native state of Oaxaca, representing indigenous villagers. He served as a judge, a prosecutor and in the state and federal legislatures, before he was elected Governor of Oaxaca in 1847. His objections to the corrupt military dictatorship of Santa Anna led to his exile in New Orleans in 1853 for a year and a half, where he collaborated with other liberal Mexican (and Cuban) exiles.
    With Santa Anna's resignation, he returned to Mexico, becoming part of a provisional government, with the start of "La Reforma" period. He drafted the "Juarez Law" declaring all citizens equal before the law and restricting the privileges of the Catholic Church and the Mexican Army, which went into effect in 1855. He signed a treaty with the US in 1859, giving the US extensive rights to Mexico's Isthmus of Tehuantepec, for an interoceanic railway and canal, but the US Senate wouldn't ratify it.
    The French invaded in 1861, and he was "President in internal exile", while Emperor Maximilian ruled Mexico. He returned to full power in 1867, after the French were ousted, and he ordered the Emperor's execution.
     Benito Juรกrez is remembered as being a progressive reformer dedicated to democracy, equal rights for his nation's indigenous peoples, reduction of power of the Catholic Church, and defense of national sovereignty. His administration replaced a semi-feudal social system with a more market-driven one, until Porfirio Diaz's regime returned Mexico to a system of centralized autocracy and economic exploitation.
    The beaches, ferries and roads will probably be busier than your average Monday, since this is a long weekend with governmental offices, banks & such taking a holiday (while tourist-related businesses will be open.)

Monday, March 21... Large amounts of sargasso are expected in the Mexican Caribbean in the next few weeks, when the amounts coming to the shores of Quintana Roo are expected to increase significantly. This monitoring NGO explains that this arrival is seasonal & says "We'll keep you posted!". The Governor's Thursday night videos with the C-19 updates also include sargasso reports from the Navy.
Isla Mujeres (the island part) is one of the least affected because its swimming beaches aren't on its windward coast. Note that the island is blue/without and the mainland part of the municipality is green/very low amounts.
Small amounts that arrive are removed by the Zofemat crews who clean North Beach early each day, and when larger amounts arrive, more people and equipment are available.
Map for Sunday, March 20...(graphic credit...Red de Monitoreo de Sargazo de Quintana Roo
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Fine dining a few steps away at Da Luisa or try the neighborhood eateries a couple blocks farther. We provide a list of links & direction to over 20 eateries within ten minutes walk, including Mango Cafe,  Mike's Pizza, Brisas, Rosa Sirena, Coco Jaguar, Manolitos, Green Verde, Kash Kechen Chuc, and the large department store-grocery Chedraui & the local craft brewery.  Visit marinas, bars, & beach clubs that are minutes away by bike or on foot. Attend Yoga classes a couple villas away at Casa Ixchel. Fresh juice, produce & tortillas a few blocks away in the village, as well as a variety of other stores.


Sources for Weather Information:
LINK to Civil Protection Q Roo weather bulletin  (Spanish)
LINK to Mexico National Weather Service (Spanish)
 LINK to satellite images for the Mexico National Weather Service
 LINK to GOES East Band 16 GIF (animation)
LINK to a private weather station on Isla Mujeres

LINK to US National Hurricane Center 


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