Mexico Readies for Hurricane Rina

Mexico, Oct 27. -Over 1,800 marines and 1,500 Army troops are ready to operate in Yucatan and Quintana Roo should Hurricane Rina affect these Mexican states on the Caribbean.La Jornada newspaper says they are ready to engage in relief work if necessary after the passage of Rina, which is now a category one hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Scale.

Government Secretary Luis Gonzalez Flores said at the latest State Council for Civil Protection that they will adopt the necessary provisions to deal with the storm. The Social Development Secretary has readied more than 1,000 shelters at all nine municipalities in Quintana Roo, now on orange alert (color code for high danger).

Some 10,000 tourists stand in long lines at Cancun International Airport to exit this resort.

However, local forecasts indicate that Rina has degraded over night and may further weaken as it nears Mexican coasts. Cuba's Meteorology Institute (Insmet) reports that at 06.00 local time there were sustained winds of 120km/h, and a minimum central pressure of 988hp in its current location at 18.9 degrees N and 86.9 degrees W, some 180km south of Cozumel Island, east Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico.

Rina is heading NW at a speed of 9km/h, says the Insmet, adding that over the next 24 to 48 hours it may lean northward and lightly pick up its speed.

Insmet specialists have qualified Rina's final trajectory as uncertain; there is a great diversity in the forecasts. From the beginning of the cyclone season in the Atlantic, the Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico, from June 1st to date, 17 tropical storms have occurred in these areas, with five reaching the hurricane category -Irene, Katia, Maria, Ophelia and Rina. (Prensa Latina)