The ferocious Hurricane Dean struck Mexico's Yucatán Peninsula early this morning as it moved west from Jamaica. Winds of over 160mph, above the threshold for a Category 5 storm, are expected to batter seaside towns and tourist destinations on the Maya Riviera. Mexican officials have evacuated local residents, oil production has ceased, and tourists have fled.
The hurricane largely spared Jamaica, which suffered substantial damage to infrastructure but only two fatalities. Storm-related deaths have also been reported in Haiti, the Dominican Republic, St. Lucia and Dominica. Mexico that seems likely to bear the brunt of Dean's wrath: the latest meteorological reports expected to push northwest into the Gulf of Mexico, where it should strike Veracruz tomorrow.