Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Hurricane Rina Cancun Update - Tuesday Oct. 25th, 7 pm

Hurricane Rina continues to strengthen in the Atlantic basin, now a strong category 2 hurricane with expectations of developing into a category 3 Tuesday night or Wednesday morning. At 5 pm CST, Hurricane Rina was located approximately 430 km south of Chetumal (southernmost city in Quintana Roo, the state where Cancun and the Riviera Maya are located).  Rina is moving west north-west slowly at 3 mph, heading towards Belize and the Yucatan Peninsula with winds around 110 mph. Current models have Rina moving towards the coast of the Riviera Maya for a possible strike on Thursday.

At a meeting of the Quintana Roo hurricane committee this afternoon, authorities upgraded the official alert to "yellow" for the entire state, from Chetumal to Cancun and a hurricane warning has been issued. A "yellow alert" signifies "moderate" danger, citizens and businesses must prepare for a hurricane impact within 12-60 hours with a minimum wind speed of 63 km/h. Schools remain open tomorrow until further notice and there has been no announcement regarding the "dry law" (alcohol sales are prohibited during emergency situations). I have just heard personal reports about evacuations in the Riviera Maya, but nothing official. Authorities are well prepared for these type of meteorological events and the safety of citizens and tourists is paramount.

The view in Cancun on Tuesday afternoon

I took a quick trip out to the hotel zone in Cancun this afternoon, businesses are beginning to bring in outside decorations and secure their buildings. All is being done with a sense of calm, the plans are in place and are being implemented. Traffic was heavier than usual, people are out and about gathering supplies and preparing their homes for Rina's visit. Walmart was busy, but again, everyone was very calm, it did not appear to be "panic shopping" and there were plenty of fully stocked shelves. The current Cancun weather is rainy with a little bit of gusty wind, the storm is still quite a distance away.

The astronauts in the space station gave us this incredible view of Hurricane Rina, you can see just how big she appears from space. She looks mighty impressive! 

I will continue to update local conditions and any progress of Hurricane Rita on Twitter, Facebook and G+ as we receive more news about Hurricane Rina. If I have electricity and internet, I am hoping to have a Google Hangout tomorrow evening as Hurricane Rina gets closer, will keep you posted. Stay safe and dry everyone!

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