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Oct. 27 (Bloomberg) -- Hurricane Rina weakened today as it neared the Yucatan Peninsula’s east coast, one of Mexico’s most popular tourist destinations, the National Hurricane Center said.
Rina, the 17th named storm of the Atlantic hurricane season, was 115 miles (190 kilometers) south of the resort island of Cozumel and moving northwest at 6 miles per hour, the center said in an advisory. The system has sustained winds of 75 mph, down from 110 mph yesterday, and is a Category 1 hurricane, lowest on the five-step Saffir-Simpson scale.
Three to 10 inches (25 centimeters) of rain may fall over eastern Yucatan, its beaches and Mayan ruins through tomorrow and tides are expected to surge as much as 4 feet (1.2 meters) above normal, according to the Miami-based center’s 7 a.m. CDT advisory. It warned of “large and destructive waves.”
Six years ago, Hurricane Wilma heavily damaged the area, washing away swathes of Cancun’s white-sand beaches. Mexican authorities set up evacuation shelters yesterday in parts of the Yucatan, canceled classes and suspended most ferry and boat traffic in the Cozumel, Cancun and Riveria Maya areas.
The states of Quintana Roo and Yucatan can expect torrential rains and tides 1.5 meters above sea levels, Mexico’s National Weather Service said in a website advisory.
Rina may shut in 6.27 million barrels a day of oil produced by state-owned Petroleos Mexicanos, according to Kinetic Analysis Corp. Port and offshore operations are normal, Pemex, Latin America’s largest oil producer, said in an e-mail.
Weather patterns over the U.S. will help steer the hurricane away from the Bay of Campeche and the Gulf of Mexico, where oil and natural-gas platforms and rigs are concentrated, forecasters said. The Gulf is home to 27 percent of U.S. oil production and 6.5 percent of gas output. The Atlantic hurricane season runs from June through November.
A gradual turn to the north with an increase in forward speed is expected today, the NHC said. Additional weakening is forecast and Rina could become a tropical storm later today as it moves on a path that’s expected to take the downgraded storm between the Yucatan and western Cuba by late tomorrow, it said.
--With assistance from Brian K. Sullivan in Boston, Alex Morales in London and Randall Hackley in Zurich. Editors: Randall Hackley, Paul Gordon
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