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A Weakening Hurricane Rina Stumbles Toward Mexico

Tourists and residents are fleeing Mexico's Yucatan peninsula ahead of Hurricane Rina, which is forecast to make landfall early Friday morning. The good news is that Rina has weakened and will continue to do so for the next two days. Right now, the Hurricane Center says Rina has maximum sustained winds of 70 mph.

The AP reports on the preparation in Mexico:

Civil protection officials moved some 2,300 people from Holbox, an island where the Caribbean meets the Gulf of Mexico, and the federal government closed the archaeological sites that dot the coast. NASA cut short an undersea laboratory mission near Key Largo, Florida, bringing the crew back to land.

Schools were ordered closed in communities along the coast and on Cozumel in anticipation of the storm.

Ports also closed to navigation for recreational, fishing and small boats in the state of Quintana Roo, home to Cancun, and neighboring Yucatan state, while the island of Cozumel was closed to larger vessels, including the ferry that connects the island and Playa del Carmen.

Reuters reports that 13,000 tourists have left Cancun and that 90 flights out of the city were cancelled. The threat to Florida has dwindled, too. The storm is expected to float near the Mexican coast and weaken into a tropical depression.

Copyright 2011 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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