Hurricane Paula dumped rain on the Caribbean resort of Cancun on Wednesday as it moved away from Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula toward western Cuba.
Paula, a “small but strong” Category 2 hurricane on the five-step Saffir-Simpson intensity scale, appeared to have spared dozens of hotels lining the white sand beaches of Mexico’s Caribbean coast. Tourists and residents were evacuated from tourist islands on Tuesday as a safety precaution.
“There’s a drizzle outside right now. We were never on high alert, although some precautions, like emptying the pools, were taken,” Karla Arroyo, an employee at Cancun’s Fiesta Americana Condesa Hotel, told Reuters.
Paula packed maximum sustained winds near 100 mph (160 kph) and was located 55 miles (90 km) east of Cancun and 70 miles (115 km) off the western tip of Cuba at 7 a.m. CDT (1200 GMT), the U.S. National Hurricane Center said.
The Miami-based center said a hurricane warning for one of Mexico’s main tourist areas would likely be lifted on Wednesday. There were no immediate reports of injuries or widespread damage in or around Cancun.