Hurricane Grace heads toward hit on Mexico's Caribbean coast


By FABIOLA SÁNCHEZ Associated Press
Tourists enjoy the beach before the arrival of Hurricane Grace, in Cancun, Quintana Roo State, Mexico, Wednesday, Aug. 18, 2021.(AP Photo/Marco Ugarte)

TULUM, Mexico -- Mexico's Caribbean coast readied for the arrival of Hurricane Grace on Wednesday, evacuating some smaller hotels, opening shelters and suspending ferry service to Cozumel as the Category 1 storm drove toward the heart of the country's tourism industry.

Grace was expected to make landfall before dawn Thursday between Tulum, known for its low-rise hotels and hip nightlife, and the island of Cozumel. Gov. Carlos Joaquin said that authorities had evacuated hotels that were not made to withstand hurricanes and he called a halt to alcohol sales in the region at 5 p.m.

On Wednesday evening, Grace had maximum sustained winds of 80 mph (130 kph) and was moving west at 18 mph (30 kph), according to the U.S. National Hurricane Center. The storm’s center was located about 125 miles (205 kilometers) east-southeast of Tulum.

On Tulum's main drag, tourists in plastic ponchos splashed through puddles as the wind picked up. On the beach side, the surf grew and beachgoers took shelter from the blowing sand.

Armed soldiers and sailors patrolled Tulum’s streets in trucks.

Businesses began taping and boarding up windows and lines formed at grocery stores as families stocked up on essentials.

Publish : 2021-08-19 10:10:00

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