Hurricane Rina Cancun Update: Wed. Oct. 26 10 pm
Hurricane Rina has weakened to a Category 1 hurricane, with sustained winds of 85 mph, moving towards the Yucatan Peninsula at a speed of 6 mph. Reports indicate that she will likely continue to lose strength and the probability is that she will make landfall as a Tropical Storm. Cozumel will feel the first effects and the coast of the Riviera Maya and Cancun will begin to experience tropical storm conditions Thursday morning, intensifying throughout the day as she passes. Despite her weakening and apparent disintegration, Hurricane Rina still threatens to bring heavy rainfall to the region and a dangerous storm surge of up to 2 to 4 feet.
The entire state of Quintana Roo is now on "orange alert" and authorities are urging people to remain vigilant in spite of Rina's weakened state. Shelters are open and 4200 people in vulnerable areas have been evacuated. The entire island of Isla Holbox (population 2600) has been evacuated and 600 tourists from Isla Mujeres have been relocated to the mainland of Cancun. The secretary of tourism, Juan Carlos Gonzalez Hernandez has indicated that there are approximately 23000 tourists in Cancun and 46000 in the Riviera Maya and that every effort is being made to ensure their safety. Many tourists were able to leave today in anticipation of the coming storm. The airport remains open, though 18 flights have been cancelled.
Cancun tonight (thanks to Diane for the photo!)
Currently in Cancun we have a bit of an "eerie" calm. No rain, no wind, not even a breeze. Quite a pleasant evening actually. The people of Cancun are prepared, settled in and are waiting to see what Rina will bring. The mood is one of "come on, let's do this!" as with days of build up we are all ready to have Miss Rina show herself and move on. I am confident that we are going to be just fine, everyone will be safe and we'll just be a little wet. We still take this storm seriously and are monitoring her movements, but the threat of serious damage and danger seems to have passed. Flooding and storm surge are our main worries. And, boredom as we wait her out.
I will be posting updates on my Cancun Canuck Facebook page and on Twitter, if we lose power I'll do my best to update from my phone as long as there is service. If I have power and internet tomorrow, I will be doing a live report via Google +, you can find the broadcast on the KOMU live streamcast at 4 pm CST Thursday afternoon. My Canadian friends can see me tonight on CTV national news at 11, I did an interview on the beach this morning with Tom Walters. Stay tuned my friends and to all my amigos in the region, stay vigilant, stay dry and keep me posted as to conditions where you are!