Hurricane Paula Heads for Mexico’s Tourist Coast

By Isela Serrano | October 12, 2010

Hurricane Paula, the ninth hurricane of the busy 2010 Atlantic season, churned toward the east coast of Mexico’s Yucatan peninsula Tuesday, putting the tourist hub of Cancun on high alert.

A hurricane warning was in effect for the eastern Yucatan coast from Punta Gruesa to Cabo Catoche, including the tourist island of Cozumel. Some islands were preparing for evacuations, Mexican emergency officials said.

Paula is expected to bring heavy rains to the eastern Yucatan and parts of western and central Cuba, the U.S. National Hurricane Center said, but skies were still clear ahead of the storm in Cancun Tuesday morning.

The Miami-based hurricane center said Paula, a small Category 1 hurricane on the five-step Saffir-Simpson scale of intensity, was packing top sustained winds of 75 mph.

It is expected to approach the Yucatan peninsula late Tuesday and Wednesday.

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