Hurricane Rina continues her path towards the Yucatan Peninsula this morning, currently a Category 2 though she is expected to convert to a dangerous Category 3 before striking the coast of the Riviera Maya and Cancun on Thursday. A hurricane warning is in effect for the entire coast of Quintana Roo and the state government has issued an "orange alert" for municipalities in the south (elevated danger levels, tropical storm force winds expected within 12 hours) and the central and northern parts of the state are currently on "yellow alert", though an order for "orange alert" for the entire state is expected within a few hours. It appears that Hurricane Rina will make landfall on Thursday on Cozumel before moving north to Cancun.
Towns in the southern end of the state are being evacuated to designated shelters. Tourists in Tulum are being moved to safety from the small hotels on the beach. The island of Holbox and the areas around Chiquila are being evacuated. Cozumel has halted all small water craft activity and boats are being removed from the water. More than 65 brigades of 700 personnel are prepared to assist in any emergency in the state. Shelters are open and ready to receive refugees. Schools are closed until further notice and the "dry law" that prohibits the sale of alcohol goes into effect at 6 pm this evening (with the exception of the hotel zone of Cancun). The airport remains open though some flights have been cancelled, tourists are advised to contact their airlines or travel agents for information. No orders of evacuations have been made in Cancun though shelters are open and ready.
Boat being secured in Cozumel
photo courtesy sipse.com
photo courtesy sipse.com
Tourists currently in Cancun and the Riviera Maya should continue to monitor the progress of Hurricane Rina and follow the directions of hotel staff. It is recommended to contact your consulate to notify them of your location and let family and friends back home know the situation. Keep travel documents on your person in a plastic bag and have a small bag packed in case of an evacuation (you will likely not be able to bring all of your things, simply the essentials). Bring documents, a change of clothes, extra toilet paper, alcohol hand gel, snacks and something to pass the hours of the storm and avoid boredom. It is important NOT to panic, remain calm and follow the guidance of hotel staff and authorities. While the "dry law" is not in effect for tourists, it is in your best interest to be moderate in your drinking to maintain a clear head in case of a crisis. The hurricane plans and strategies to protect citizens and tourists are well developed and the physical safety of all is of primary concern.
Cancun sunshine over the lagoon 9 am Oct. 26th
Currently Cancun is partly cloudy, the sun shining through, with a light wind. Traffic was light this morning due to the cancellation of classes and there is a sense of calm in the city. Very few windows have been boarded up, though some businesses have rolled out the "anti-hurricane" shutters. The mood is light, the people of Cancun have been through this before and the usual jokes are being bantered about. That is not to say that we are taking this lightly, simply that we know what has to be done and it is "business as usual" for hurricane season. Hotels are securing all areas, bringing in lounge chairs and outdoor decor and taking all precautions necessary to protect their guests and staff. Many businesses are closing early to allow staff to tend to their homes and families
I will continue to update throughout the day on CancunCanuck Twitter, Canuck in Cancun Facebook
and Google +. If anyone has photos of activity in the region, I would love to share them, please contact me through any of the mentioned networks or email CancunCanuck. I will be going out to the hotel zone in a few moments to take photos of preparations.