- Title: MEXICO: Tourists in Mexican resort of Los Cabos flee Hurricane John
- Date: 1st September 2006
- Summary: (BN04) CABO ST. LUCAS, MEXICO (AUGUST 31, 2006) (REUTERS) VARIOUS EXTERIOR OF SMALL TOWN CABO SAN LUCAS AND BAY VARIOUS OF BAY AND CABO SAN LUCAS BEACH VARIOUS OF MARINA AND RESTAURANTS OF CABO SAN LUCAS VARIOUS OF DOWNTOWN CABO SAN LUCAS STREETS WITH PEOPLE CLOSING THEIR WINDOWS WITH WOOD (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) CARLOS TENIENTE, SHOP OWNER, SAYING: "Well, (we're expecting) wind, rain.. but we still don't know what will happen. Let's see how it goes." VARIOUS OF CABO SAN LUCAS HOTEL WITH PEOPLE PROTECTING THE WINDOWS WITH TAPE AND EMPTY POOL EXTERIOR OF CABO SAN LUCAS AIRPORT VARIOUS OF INTERIOR OF AIRPORT WITH LOTS OF TOURISTS STANDING IN LINE TO LEAVE (SOUNDBITE) (English) DAN POLEDOR, NEW YORKER, SAYING: "Why do you think we're leaving? It's a category four hurricane so it's better to be safe than sorry. Actually, I don't want to get stuck here for two weeks like they did in Cancun so that's what I'm more concerned about more than the hurricane is getting stuck. So I'm out of here." LUGGAGE AT AIRPORT (SOUNDBITE) (English) JOHN WOOD, NEW ZEALANDER, SAYING: "They started boarding up the hotel yesterday and everybody is boarding up the hotels, all the big ones and they cleaning up everything." GIRL WITH LOTS OF BAGGAGE WIDE SHOT CABO SAN LUCAS BAY WITH SOME CLOUDS
- Embargoed: 16th September 2006 13:00
- Location: Mexico
- Country: Mexico
- Topics: Disasters / Accidents / Natural catastrophes,Travel / Tourism
- Reuters ID: LVA8G9HIKQ85H148WPF0PUDY7UH
- Story Text: Hundreds of foreign tourists raced to escape Mexico's luxury beach resort on Thursday (August 31) as Hurricane John took aim at Mexico's Baja California peninsula and residents boarded up their houses and shops.
In the resort, workers boarded up shop windows, and many yachts left the marina for safer ports on the mainland. Their spots are filled by boats from even more exposed harbours.
"Well, (we're expecting) wind, rain.. but we still don't know what will happen," said shop owner Carlos Teniente Let's see how it goes."
Vacationers in the Los Cabos resort, popular with U.S. tourists and famed for its beaches and Jack Nicklaus-designed golf courses, hastily grabbed flights to safety before the storm hits on Friday.
"Why do you think we're leaving? It's a category four hurricane so it's better to be safe than sorry," said New Yorker Dan Poledor. "Actually, I don't want to get stuck here for two weeks like they did in Cancun so that's what I'm worried about more than the hurricane is getting stuck. So I'm out of here."
The U.S. National Hurricane Center downgraded John to a Category 2 hurricane on Thursday afternoon, but said it still packed sustained winds of 105 mph (165 kph) and could restrengthen before hitting Baja California.
Long lines of tourists waited at Los Cabos airport for flights off the low-lying peninsula, but some were stranded.
Most of the resort's hotels have their own shelters where tourists could ride out the storm if they wanted. But some hotels were taking no chances and told guests to leave.
"They started boarding up the hotel yesterday and everybody is boarding up the hotels, all the big ones and they cleaning up everything," said New Zealander John Wood who decided to leave.
The hurricane swirled about 65 miles (110 km) southwest of the Islas Marias small island chain and penal colony on Thursday as it roared toward Los Cabos.
After smacking into Los Cabos, the storm was expected to spin back out into the Pacific, posing no threat to the United States.
In October, Hurricane Wilma hit Cancun and other beach resorts on Mexico's Caribbean coast. It caused massive damage, eroding large stretches of beach and stranding tens of thousands of tourists for days.
Rainfall of 6 to 10 inches (15 to 25 cm), with isolated deluges of 18 inches (45 cm), was possible over the southern part of Baja California and along Mexico's west coast.
Meanwhile, the U.S. hurricane center issued a hurricane watch for a portion of coastline from South Carolina to North Carolina on Thursday as Tropical Storm Ernesto gained strength over the Atlantic.
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