Emili se obrusio na Meksiko brzinom od 125mph

Emili se obrusio na Meksiko brzinom od 125mph

  • Pridružio: 10 Feb 2005
  • Poruke: 3549

LA PESCA, Mexico (AP) -- Hurricane Emily gathered strength and began lashing Mexico's coastline with wind and rain Tuesday, forcing thousands in northeastern Mexico and southern Texas to seek higher ground.

The hurricane's eye was likely to come ashore early Wednesday near this small fishing village popular with Mexican and U.S. tourists.

Residents rushed to nail plywood boards over windows and doors, while Mexican army trucks roamed the streets collecting evacuees laden with suitcases and rolled-up blankets.

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The town was among at least 20 low-lying, seaside Mexican communities being emptied of residents before the storm, which was expected to hit a sparsely populated stretch of coastline just south of the Texas border.

In southern Texas, campers emptied beachfront parks on South Padre Island, residents piled sandbags to hold back possible floodwaters and schools were turned into shelters.

Some 240 kilometers (150 miles) south, in La Pesca, residents were taken to a naval base on a relatively high point on the edge of town, where excited children raced giddily about, shrieking and laughing as their parents settled in.

"Now that there is help, we must accept it,'' said Marta Neri, a 30-year-old who arrived with her three small children.

She said she hadn't gone farther inland because she couldn't afford to pay a bus or taxi.

The storm was gathering strength as it barreled toward the coast, a day after ripping roofs off resort hotels and stranding thousands of tourists all along the famous Mayan Riviera, which includes the resort of Cancun.

Emily hit the Yucatan Peninsula on Monday as a fierce Category 4 storm with 135 mph (217 kph) winds, causing millions of dollars in damage. Hundreds of local residents were left homeless, but no deaths or major injuries were reported.

The storm weakened during the rampage but once back out to sea it strengthened to a Category 2 hurricane, packing sustained winds of 100 mph (160 kph) Tuesday afternoon. It was located 185 miles (300 kilometers) east of La Pesca, and was heading northwest at 13 mph (20 kph.)

Mexico and U.S. oil companies evacuated workers from offshore oil installations in the northern Gulf of Mexico as Hurricane Emily swept toward the U.S.-Mexico border.

Some 16,000 workers were told to return to Mexican installations in the southern Gulf on Wednesday, after the storm halted production there and forced weekend evacuations.

Emily didn't appear to have caused any major damage in the southern Gulf, although state-run Petroleos Mexicanos was still surveying the rigs.

As the storm approached, an increasingly steady wind blew across La Pesca and breakers skittered toward the abandoned beach. Residents boarded up windows and tied down their homes' tin roofs.

Felipe Portillo, a 67-year-old fisherman, helped his sons haul five small, fiberglass fishing boats off the beach and up to the roadside, away from the water. Then they planned to head to a shelter inland.

"Overconfidence kills men,'' Portillo said. "Running is your best defense.''

Also among those leaving was Donald Laray, a 60-year-old Texan who moved to Mexico 10 years ago. He was using a pickup truck to haul a recreational vehicle out of a beachfront lot where he was planning to build a hotel.

"It's been just about two days without sleep,'' he said, referring to rushed preparations for the storm.

Meanwhile in the Pacific, Tropical Storm Eugene swirled about 230 miles (370 kilometers) south of the peninsula city of Cabo San Lucas. Eugene had maximum sustained winds near 70 mph (110 kmh), with higher gusts, the Miami-based National Hurricane Center said.

A tropical storm watch was issued for southern Baja California as a precaution, but forecasters said they expected the storm to weaken Tuesday night as it moved over cooler waters.


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