As Hurricane Rina gathers momentum off the Mexican Coast, perilously close to popular resort Cancun and cruise hotspot and diving mecca Cozumel, tourists and locals are being evacuated.
Some 45,000 tourists are thought to be holidaying along the coast south of Cancun, set to be worst affected by the hurricane, with 28,000 in Cancun itself. This coastal area is studded with Mayan ruins and also includes popular Playa del Carmen.
Cruise ships set for Cozumel, where there are already just over 1000 tourists, have also been told to alter their itineraries to avoid the storm.
State tourism director Juan Carlos Gonzalez Hernandez said: -¬---In the case of Cozumel, which could be hit hardest, people are leaving of their own accord and are cutting their reservations short.-¬~
The US National Hurricane Centre in Miami said winds were now as high as 110mph and are set to climb. Forecasters predict the hurricane will head to Cuba next and possibly southern parts of Florida.
Wednesday, October 26, 2011