Nov 1, 2011
Tropical storm Rina recently hit Mexico, cancelling 148 domestic and international flights in the area. Early on the day it hit, winds reached 95 kilometres an hour as the storm passed the resort town of Playa del Carmen. The storm shelters in this area were opened to take in those whose houses were damaged by the storm, with winds and rain causing a lot of problems. Many buildings lost their power as well, and the country’s military even moved to evacuate residents by force, as some had refused to move from a low-lying island at the north of the Yucatan Peninsula.
The storm was downgraded from a hurricane and continued to move north. Its speed of movement in this direction was about 11 kilometres per hour and experts were expecting it to move inland and continue to get weaker. Some people prepared for the storm, others were not too worried and played some partypoker or read books. When the storm hit Cozumel, there was flooding in some neighbourhoods due to torrential rains. This is an area that is very popular with tourists, and they had to be careful.
Around 10,000 tourists had left the area in the run-up to Rina’s approach, and while some remained, most stayed away from the beaches. In Cancun, 22 hotels shut their doors, which in turn forced around 600 tourists to take refuge in temporary storm shelters. Residents bought in extra food incase the storm was really bad, and some put up shutters to protect their homes. However, the storm did not hit as hard as expected, with damage being less than had been feared. Schools were still closed along the coast and on Cozumel as a sensible precaution and it seems that the area will make it through.