Tourists fled beachfront hotels on the Yucatan Peninsula by the thousands Tuesday, but honeymooners and hardy souls hunkered down as Hurricane Roxanne stormed over the resort island of Cozumel and headed for the Mexican mainland.
There were no immediate reports of damage or injury.
Roxanne, the 10th hurricane of the busy Atlantic storm season, threatened to turn into one of the worst storms since Hurricane Gilbert swept through the Caribbean in 1989, killing 300 people.
Cozumel, famed for its coral reefs and luxury hotels, was incommunicado Tuesday night after the hurricane, with sustained 110-mph winds, swept across it.
Texas appeared to be in the likely path of the storm after it crosses the Yucatan Peninsula.
“Please be careful. This is a dangerous storm,” warned meteorologist Fiona Horsfall at the U.S. National Hurricane Center in Miami.
The center announced Tuesday afternoon that Roxanne had been upgraded from a “Moderate” Category 2 to a “Dangerous” Category 3 hurricane on a scale of 5.
Some 12,000 tourists at hotels on Cancun beaches jutting from the northeast tip were evacuated Tuesday, along with 3,900 coastal dwellers in exposed lowlands, the Mexican state news agency Notimex reported.
Phil Dziardziel, a 27-year-old rancher from Douglas, Wyo., said his honeymoon with his wife Susie, 22, was becoming more than the lazy vacation he had envisioned.
“I guess this is what they call getting off to a stormy start,” he said.