Hurricane Wilma has been battering Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula relentlessly whilst a storm surge – which may rise to four metres – has flooded beach resorts.
Wilma has lost some of its sting however. It has been downgraded to a category three storm but it is still whipping up winds of 195 kilometres an hour. Thousands of tourists and locals are sheltering from Wilma and soon they will experience a deceptive few hours of calm as the eye of the storm passes over. But Wilma is proving to be slower than other hurricanes and the fear is that it will hover over some areas causing massive damage before moving on. The peninsula and western Cuba will have 25 to 50 centimetres of rain dumped on them by Sunday according to the US National Hurricane Centre. Some areas of the Yucatan are forecast to receive up to one metre of rain. In Cuba over 300,000 people have been evacuated from low lying areas as they wait anxiously for a hurricane that is an incredible 800 kilometres wide. After Cuba, Wilma is expected to head north to Florida wreaking destruction in the state’s orange groves but crucially missing oil and gas platforms in the Gulf of Mexico.