Hurricane Dean Heads for Mexico

Thousands flee as Category 5 storm approaches resorts
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 20, 2007 5:06 PM CDT
for shelter. (AP Photo/Andres Leighton)   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – The Mayan Riviera emptied today as tens of thousands fled before Hurricane Dean, which has already killed nine and will likely be a Category 5 by the time it hits the Yucatan Peninsula tomorrow. Tourist destinations in the area are still recovering from 2005’s Hurricane Wilma, and beach resorts could see even worse damage this time, Reuters reports.

In preparation for the storm, warnings were broadcast in the local Mayan Indian language, windows were boarded up, and oil shipments were suspended. Inland shelters accommodated the influx of residents and tourists from coastal areas. Cancun is no longer considered likely to bear the brunt of the storm, but central Mexico and Belize are still in danger.