Hurricane Rina Cancun
October 27, 2011 by staff
Rina could weaken to a tropical storm before it approached the east coast of the Yucatan peninsula at night, Miami-based National Hurricane Center. The coast is home to the strip center known as the Riviera Maya.
In Playa del Carmen, the heavy rains had fallen in the morning, although the sea was choppy and the boat dock to the resort island of Cozumel was closed.
Although the majority of souvenirs and gifts on the pedestrian boulevard 5th Avenue had their shutters rolled steel, only a few beachfront properties had secured their windows with wooden panels.
“Normally, this place is full of marketers,” said Jose Antonio Palma guard pier.
“All have been since yesterday. They say the storm is weakening, but we must be prepared for everything. That’s what we learned from Wilma. What can be moved around we’ve cleared out of here.”
National Hurricane Center: www.nhc.noaa.gov
Skeetobite Time: www.skeetobiteweather.com
Weather Underground www.wunderground.com / tropical
Cancun and the Yucatan coast were devastated in 2005 by Hurricane Wilma, the strongest storm ever recorded in the Atlantic, and the local population remains a vivid memory of the damage.
More than 90 flights in and out of Cancun was canceled on Thursday and charged hundreds of passengers with luggage had gathered at the airport on Wednesday, trying to get out before the storm.
Although Rina, a category 1 hurricane, lost part of its strength during the night, with winds dropping to 75 miles (120 kilometers) per hour, the emergency services in the home state of Quintana Roo Cancun, had advised people in vulnerable areas to take cover.
Rina is not expected to affect major oil installations in the Gulf of Mexico in Mexico or Central American coffee growing areas that were battered by heavy rains this month.
RAIN AND BIG WAVES
Despite the cuts, Rina is expected to cause torrential rains and potentially dangerous waves. Most schools in Quintana Roo closed as a safety measure.
About 2,800 people were evacuated from low Holbox Island, off the northeastern tip of the Yucatan Peninsula, including 200 tourists, the governor of Quintana Roo, Roberto Borge said.
The sixth hurricane of the Atlantic 2011 season, Rina is located about 115 miles (190 km) south of the island of Cozumel at 7 am CDT/1200 GMT on Thursday and was moving northwest at 6 miles per hour ( 9 kilometers) per hour.
The storm could produce 6 to 10 inches (15 to 25 cm) of rain in the eastern Yucatan Peninsula. A storm surge is also possible, raising tide levels up to 4 feet (1.2 meters) above normal along the coast.
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