Hurricane Dean has hit the coast of Mexico, the latest stop in its destructive tour of the Caribbean. The category five storm, the strongest kind, which covers an area the size of Texas, struck the Yucatan peninsula in the early hours of the morning local time.
Dean has already claimed at least 11 lives, growing in strength since hitting Martinique as a category two storm. More than 70,000 holidaymakers have been evacuated from tourist areas of Mexico and neighbouring Belize. Those who have stayed are bracing themselves.
One German tourist said: “I hope we will be safe here. The doors are strong but still I have no idea what it will be like. I am really scared.” Mexican authorities have imposed a curfew and locals have been busily boarding up windows and stocking up on supplies. Many will remember the carnage left by Hurricane Wilma in 2005 – the strongest storm ever witnessed in the Atlantic.