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Impact of hurricanes in urban centers: Metropolitan Area of Mexico City

Congress: 2008
Author(s): Augustin Felipe Breña-Puyol

AbstractThe impact areas of hurricanes in Mexico are the coastal areas located along the Pacific and Atlantic oceans. In order to measure the magnitude of precipitation, the National Meteorological Center (NMC) has established a rain gauge and radar network in the federal states where tropical hurricanes arrive. Furthermore, the NMC uses the meteorological satellites located in Zone IV where Mexico is located to visualize the impact zones and paths of the hurricanes. Although some urban centers are located in the continental part within a distance up to 400 km from the coastal areas and at elevations surpassing the 2000 meters above the sea level, some precipitation anomalies provoked by hurricanes have had a significant flood impact in the hydraulic infrastructure by overflowing the sewage network and the control structures which have not been designed for cyclonic storms. The Metropolitan Area of Mexico City (MAMC), located in the Mexican High Plateau at a mean elevation of 2,240 m and a distance of 450 km from the Pacific and Atlantic oceans is the studied area of the impacts from cyclonic storms. A historical analysis of the hurricane paths was realized. Besides, the floods produced by those events and their effects in the hydraulic infrastructure were analyzed as well. A recommendation calling for an integration of meteorology and urban hydrology research studies is issued.
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