Monday, July 18, 2005
Residents of the Cayman Islands and timeshare resorts there report minimal damage from Hurricane Emily, while Mexico’s Riviera Maya is hit hard.
Timeshare owners everywhere are following the course of Hurricane Emily, which is expected to hit the coastline of Central Mexico by the end of this week. Not only is this an issue of importance those who own timeshare in Mexico at the beautiful timeshare resorts there, but it is also a matter of life and death to thousands of local residents in the path of this hurricane.
Early on Sunday, the Cayman Islands were the next group of islands in the path of Hurricane Emily. Fortunately, the storm was far enough offshore as to cause less damage than expected. Flooding, downed power lines, and fallen trees were common in many areas, but local authorities are confident that life will return to normal within the next few days. This comes as good news in an area that was mauled by Hurricane Ivan last year, which caused over 100 deaths and untold property damage.
Hurricane Emily is passing over the Yucatan Penninsula, and the initial reports indicate massive power outages across the Riviera Maya coastline. Many local schools served as makeshift shelters from the storm, housing tourists and local families while Emily raged outside. More than 60,000 tourists were evacuated from places like Tulum, Cozumel, and Playa del Carmen. The most dangerous part of the storm hit Cozumel directly. Cozumel sustained a severe battering from the pounding seas and high winds, which were able to break billboards and concrete utility poles in many areas. In Playa del Carmen, flooding was the major problem, with streets knee-deep in water. Cancun, already concerned over the erosion of its beaches, reported that Emily caused significant erosion damage to waterfront property. Though the number of resorts in this area has grown by leaps and bounds during the past decade, emergency facilities have been able to keep pace with the new demand. Adequate fresh water and food was provided to evacuees, and a system of busses was able to carry tourists to safety.
Belize reported high seas and some stormy conditions, but seems to have been largely unaffected by Emily. A hurricane watch is in effect for the southern Gulf Coast of Texas and a wide section of Mexico’s Gulf Coast. Emily should be over the warm waters of the Gulf tomorrow, and she is likely to increase in force.
If you are an owner at timeshare resorts in any areas which may have been affected by this hurricane, you are strongly advised to contact your home resort or management company as soon as possible.