In Tamaulipas, many believed that it was divine punishment, as otherwise they could not explain the disaster unfolding before their eyes. The more than 6,000 kilometers of submerged surface, the 10,000 deaths and thousands of injured revealed a tragedy without parallel in the history of the state.
In September 1955, three hurricanes hit the Gulf of Mexico coast, leaving devastation and death in less than 15 days. The most affected locations were Tampico and Ciudad Madero, sister cities that saw their homes, urban centers and roads succumb to gusts of wind and millions of cubic meters of water.
With overflowing rivers and cities reduced to rubble that revealed the insignificance of man in the face of the power of nature, it didn’t take an assiduous believer to think that such a catastrophe was due to a supernatural power.
Janet, Hilda and Gladys forever marked the two cities and the disaster profoundly affected Mexican society, which only then began to become aware of the culture of prevention and the destructive power of hurricanes.
11 years later, the alarms sounded again with the imminent arrival of Inés – a hurricane that caused serious damage as it passed through the Caribbean and the Bahamas – and the harsh memory of 1955 settled in the memory of Tampico residents.
Fear made an evacuation plan work in a coordinated fashion, and although Tampico and Ciudad Madero expected the worst, Inés quickly downgraded to a tropical storm, minimizing the damage of what had happened in previous years.
Since then, the relationship between Tamaulipas and cyclones has changed drastically: the nervousness that was installed each year with the arrival of the hurricane season gradually dissipated, after verifying that in the following decade not a single hurricane threatened to reach the coast. Tamaulipas.
The pattern repeated itself in the 1970s and would repeat itself three more times, including the sudden diversion of Gilbert (the most intense hurricane in Atlantic history) in 1988, which changed its course in extremis to the north, leaving only material damage in the cities sisters.
Something similar happened in 2013 when Ingrid weakened, causing only high winds and white balance thunderstorms.
Faced with such events, the population of these cities began to formulate different hypotheses to explain the fate that has accompanied them since 1966.
From the 1990s and with the destructive power of Gilbert in perspective, a particular version gained strength: according to residents, the city is protected by aliens, responsible for keeping the waters of the Gulf of Mexico calm.
But for what?
Oral tradition claims that beings from another planet chose the shores of Tamaulipas to establish an extraterrestrial base, diverting hurricanes or downgrading them to tropical storms.
So both cities are unscathed season after hurricane season.
In 2013, a state decree instituted Mars Day, celebrated since then on the last Tuesday of each month in Tampico and Ciudad Madero.
According to residents, UFO sightings are common on the beach at night and the Gulf of Mexico destination has positioned itself throughout Latin America as a particularly attractive location for fans of ufology and other pseudosciences related to paranormal phenomena.
For more than half a century and until today, the waters of Tampico and Ciudad Madero have remained calm.
Many Tamaulipas are convinced that a supernatural force protects the beach from the disasters that left an indelible mark on the city’s past.
Not only that: at the same time, they found a good reason to – every now and then – lose sight of the sky on a starry night.