Hurricane Grace – 120,000 tourists trapped in hotels as 85mph storm smashes into Mexican resorts

AROUND 120,000 tourists are trapped in their hotels as Hurricane Grace wreaks havoc across Mexican resorts.

Holidaymakers are stuck inside as the 85mph storm smashes into the popular vacation destination after it ravaged the Caribbean coast.

ReutersAround 120,000 tourists are trapped in their hotels as the Category 1 hurricane hits[/caption]

AFPHurricane Gracehit the popular holiday hotspot and will travel over the Gulf of Mexico on Friday[/caption]

The Category 1 hurricane hit the Yucatan Peninsula, where Cancun, Playa del Carmen and the island of Cozumel are situated, on Thursday morning.

It struck just south of Tulum at 4.45am with winds reaching 85mph, the U.S National Hurricane Center said.

Videos showed the despairingly dark skies lurking over empty beaches ahead of Grace’s landfall.

Hurricane Grace will then advance through the southwestern Gulf of Mexico on Friday after it passes through the Yucatan Peninsula.

It is set to bring strong winds, heavy rain and a threatening storm surge – with some areas expecting up to 12 inches of rainfall.

Forecasters predict it will weaken after it hits the holiday hotspot, before strengthening again as it passes over the waters of the Gulf and making a second landfall in Mexico later this week.


Authorities are now on high alert and have begun opening hurricane shelters for locals at risk of flooding.

Some 5,700 tourists in Tulum have been transferred to shelters within their complexes or refuge’s that have been authorised by the municipal authorities, according to the Association of Hoteliers.

Tourists were evacuated from hotels that were not hurricane-proof in Quintana Roo, Governor Carlos Joaquin said.

Flights have been grounded, cruise ships turned away and sea crossings to nearby islands suspended as the destructive storm made its way to Mexico.

Businesses were ordered to close by 8pm on Wednesday night and recommended to stop selling alcohol as the dry law is set to be implemented.

Despite the pandemic, state authorities said that as of last week hotels in the region were more than half full.

The local government issued a red alert for Felipe Carrillo Puerto, Tulum, Solidaridad, Puerto Morelos, Benito Juárez, Lázaro Cárdenas, Isla Mujeres and Cozumel, as they are the “highest risk.”

INTERNATIONAL WEATHER WOES

Storm Grace has already let rip across Haiti, which was already devastated by an earthquake on Saturday that killed almost 2,000 people, Jamaica and the Cayman Islands earlier this week.

The worsening weather prospects come as Tropical Storm Fred unleashed catastrophic flooding across parts of the US.

The vicious storm has saw President Joe Biden declare a state of emergency in Florida after it flooded the sunshine state.

It then made its way across North Carolina – leaving 35 people unaccounted for – before it made its way to Philadephia.

Tornado warnings were put in place for South Central Montgomery County, East Central Chester County, Northern Delaware County and Northwestern Philadelphia County.

It comes after widespread flash flood watches were put in place on Wednesday, from upstate New York to West Virginia, Virginia and eastern Kentucky.

As Storm Fred moves northeast, it is expected to soak New Jersey and New York, who have been warned to expect flash floods.

Twitter85mph winds have been recorded as the hurricane hit just south of Tulum early on Thursday morning[/caption]

APBusinesses were ordered to close at 8pm on Wednesday evening[/caption]