Cancun – Dozens of scheduled flights to and from Mexico's Caribbean coast have been cancelled and thousands of tourists have precipitously left the area due to the threat posed by the pending arrival of Tropical Storm Rina.
The system, which weakened from a hurricane to a tropical storm on Thursday, is threatening to dump huge amounts of rain on tourist centers such as Cancun, Playa del Carmen, Isla Mujeres and Cozumel.
Although the Cancun airport continues to operate normally, many airlines have suspended their flights and by the early afternoon hours on Thursday 141 arrivals and departures had been cancelled.
Quintana Roo state Tourism Secretary Juan Carlos Gonzalez Hernandez said that some 10,000 tourists had left the region in the past few hours, most of them cutting their vacations short and departing the zone before they had originally intended to do so.
Although Rina continues to weaken off the Quintana Roo coast, according to the National Meteorological Service, local authorities are asking the public not to lower its guard because there is still the risk of intense rains throughout the region.
The storm has maximum sustained winds of 95 kph (59 mph).
"At times, the effects of a tropical storm are greater than those of a hurricane because of the (rain) that they carry. Therefore, we still cannot say the emergency is over," said Quintana Roo's emergency services chief, Carlos Rodriguez.