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- http://www.helpafterdean.com/
  • From: Michael Hopson <mike at hotinplaya.com>
  • Date: Sun, 02 Sep 2007 17:04:24 -0500
Title: http://www.helpafterdean.com/
I posted last week about the “home grown” private relief effort by Playa Del Carmen residents through Playa Info.

http://www.playa.info/playa-del-carmen-forum/35443-hurricane-assistance-needed-majahual-asap-playa-folks-23.html

Below is a posting from the relief thread, they are making a trip down every few days, and documenting where and how the money is being spent.

I made a miss quote last week, the “Boots on the Ground” coordination is headed up by Claudia, with support from many volunteers.  People have been volunteering their money, and time.

Some one has put together an informative web site, that lists the local private relief efforts on going and has a lot of general information on what is happening.

http://www.helpafterdean.com/

I ask that you visit these sites, and if you are able, please  make a contribution to one or more of these private relief efforts,

All 3 are well known for their past efforts in times of need, and I feel you can rest assured that all the moneys collected will be well spent, with 100% going directly to the people, none of these people are getting any kind of salary, they are all donating their time, vehicles  and sweat!

Michael Hopson


"We took more supplies down today...we need more money." We're sorry that we have to repeat the same thing over and over, but the truth is that even as we take supplies down, the need grows. People are trying to dig out and restart their lives with nothing but what they can dig out of their shattered homes. And, the food and water and toilet paper and sanitary napkins and toothpaste and soap that we took them days ago is diminishing, and they need to be resupplied.

In the best of times, these folks didn't have much and had limited funds to buy anything. Now even if they had money in hand, there is no place to buy food, medicine, water, building supplies, etc. It must be brought to them.

RELIEF IS STILL PRIMARILY FROM PRIVATE CONTRIBUTORS. There have been no supplies brought in by international relief agencies. The Red Cross has not yet established a permanent physical presence, although they have sent an ambulance and volunteer EMTs on occasion. The Mexican government has provided road clearing equipment and trucks to haul debris. They have also brought in chemical toilets and restored most of the power.

Unfortunately, Mexico is fighting crises on a number of fronts. Not only did Hurricane Dean do damage to the Caribbean coast and the Gulf coast, but it brought flooding and damage inland. At the same time, there is heavy flooding and damage on the Pacific coast. The national resources are stretched very thin. This means that in Mahahaul the necessities of life are being supplied only by volunteers willing to purchase them elsewhere and haul them in. There are very limited numbers of people willing to do this. How long volunteers will do this depends on whether or not there is money to buy supplies.

To date, we have raised just over $18,200 via the paypal account & donations dropped off at the hotel. Of that, we've spent all but $5,100. That will be spent in the next couple of days, this time focusing primarily on food and water packaged in small "dispensas" which will be delivered house to house. At that point, we will be out of money.

Today another convoy went down to Mahahual. The Big Bastard hauled 150 construction kits, 100 hand saws, along with food and clothing that has been dropped off at the Luna Blue Hotel by so many wonderful people. "The Dutch Army" of Alex, Jessica, Willem & others took down almost 70 pairs of work boots, along with food and water that they have been buying with the money they can squeeze out of anybody they know. They have done an amazing job. Claudia was already in Mahahual, having spent the last couple of nights there offering medical support.

As always, the volunteer relief effort is being directed by Kevin Graham who is working nonstop (literally with no sleep) to see that the goods are distributed in a quick and fair manner to those who need them most. At this point, Kevin says they have two primary needs: They need supplies (which have to be purchased and packaged up by volunteers and then convoyed to Mahahual) and they need people with cars and trucks to help distribute those supplies to the outlying areas of Mahahual. One or two vans simply cannot do it in a day -- they need four or five to reach all of the areas affected and get the volunteers back on the road so they don't have to drive home in the dark.

So, we now turn to you folks. This relief effort need more money. We and many others have spread ourselves out over the internet with this plea. Playa.Info deserve an amazing round of applause. Other websites have banned us or deleted our postings or the postings of others on a "no solicitation" policy basis. This forum not only has the courage and the heart to let us ask for your help, they've made it a link on their front page. Good people, here.

Kudos also to TripAdvisor. Yes, some people have had some problems with TA, but in this case they really came through. Despite a no solicitation policy, they made an exception and allowed us to post a thread asking for funds. They kept it up for a week, and it went on to several pages. Members of TA forum, like Playa.Info, have been overwhelming in their generous response. TripAdvisor has now made our plea a permanent "sticky" at the head of their Playa del Carmen forum page.

This all boils down to us asking you to send more money. If you've already sent as much as you can, please send emails to your friends, your coworkers, and your family. Link them to this thread. If you know somebody on this board who you haven't seen on this thread, send them a PM. We hate to beg, but we're going to do it anyway. If you can help with money or time, please let us know as soon as possible.

On behalf of everyone who cares about this and all the "Playa Pals for Mahahual" volunteers and contributors, THANK YOU SO MUCH for all the donations. You all have been SO generous. If you could see the smiles on the faces of people in Mahahul as they accept food and clothing that you paid for, it would truly warm your heart.

- Costa Maya, Xcalak, Majahual Mexico
  • From: Gert van Dijken <gert at vandijken.com>
  • Date: Sat, 1 Sep 2007 15:18:25 -0400 (EDT)
The following was recently posted on the Pleas for Help forum by Cliff, one of the hurricane correspondents. He has set up a relief fund. Please, try to help him, no matter how small the donation, everything counts. -Gert

Re: Costa Maya, Xcalak, Majahual Mexico
Posted by: Cliff
Date: September 01, 2007 08:12AM

Well folks, it looks like the Costa Maya is in for yet another tropical disaster not two weeks after the third largest hurricane in recorded history devastated the Costa Maya and points inland including Majahual, Xcalak, Pedro A Santos, Limones, Noh Bec, Chacchoben and other smaller communities in Southern Quintana Roo.

I have been collecting contributions to give directly to the poor people in need who have been directly impacted the worst from hurricane Dean. I thank those of you who have contributed on behalf of those people who I will present your donations to. As those who have so generously donated to my PayPal account, cliff at portillas.com have been advised through my e-mailed Reports to the Donors of the Portillas.com Relief Fund, I had planned to distribute your funds directly in cash on Wednesday, 5 September, 2007 during my planned return trip from Chetumal where I intended to withdraw your cleared funds from my Mexican bank account. Currently, it appears that a new hurricane Felix may impact this area on that day. Depending on the near future status of Felix, my plans may be altered slightly. I may either cut short my 3 day trip to Chetumal or extend it depending on what Felix does. Know this . I will distribute more than 100% of your donations as soon as possible and will provide you with photographic proof of having done so as soon as I am able at http://www.portillas.com. Your faith in me will not go in vain no matter what happens here. I only pray that Felix does not further exascerbate the multitude of problems that already exist here along the Costa Maya.

I also offer my prayers for those folks in Belize where I believe a slow moving Felix will impact the most on Wednesday morning. Should a slow moving category two Felix hit Belize, its effects could be as disastrous as Dean was here. Good luck to all of those interests in the Caribbe who will soon be impacted by Felix and have been torn up by Dean.

Visit my web at http://www.portillas.com for Costa Maya Mexico info.

*
**
*** Gert van Dijken ( gert at vandijken.com )
**** Caribbean Hurricane Network - http://stormcarib.com


- New photos from Costa Maya (Majahual)
  • From: "Scott Wilson" <info at cancunassist.com>
  • Date: Wed, 29 Aug 2007 15:59:18 -0500

I have just posted our photos from Costa Maya (Majahual/Mahahual) taken over the last few days. The dock is in severe shape, but many of the concrete houses survived with minor damage (as opposed to the media showing total destruction).

 

A slide series can be seen at http://www.cancunassist.com/hurricanedeanslideshow.cfm

 

Power was restored to much of the town over the last two days. Most of the devastation as first reported is to the palapa and wooden structures.

 

Regards to all

Scott in Cancun


- PaaMul
  • From: Gert van Dijken <gert at vandijken.com>
  • Date: Sun, 26 Aug 2007 19:19:11 -0400 (EDT)

I received the following update through Heidi Needham:


PaaMul - Quintana Roo - Mexico
I'm currently not home but here is some Information I received from my friends 
with email:

"Hello! Well we are not getting Internet or phone back very quickly so I thought I should write. …
almost back to normal here for most of us. The restaurant opened back up 
yesterday and they got the sand and rocks out of the pool….
P…. lost almost all his furnishings on the ground floor, in fact when we were there on Tuesday a wave came crashing up almost got us and went into the living room. The furniture in there looked like it ha been in a blender. L… had water in his ground floor apartments, but he removed the furniture ahead of the storm. Some Palapas on the south end actually had waves through them, but not catastrophic damage, just muck….. a lot of cleanup to do but that’s all I think. …water line broke but we got it plugged. The waves actually ran through some of the palapas and the path … so the road had water on it. The waves came up and broke over the beach at the south end of the hotel, so the water actually ran down the road all the way to Heidi and Phil's, but minor damage. Well that's about it hope to have phone and Internet back soon….."


*
**
*** Gert van Dijken ( gert at vandijken.com )
**** Caribbean Hurricane Network - http://stormcarib.com

- Relief effort for Mahahual by Playa Del Carmen residents
  • From: Michael Hopson <mike at hotinplaya.com>
  • Date: Sun, 26 Aug 2007 00:12:35 -0500
Title: Relief effort for Mahahual by Playa Del Carmen residents
A group of volunteers from Playa Del Carmen have a relief effort on going for Mahahual, led by Cheri, she has organized two relief convoys from volunteers and contributions .

This is a copy of a posting after their 1st trip a few days ago, they made a much larger trip today and plan on more relief efforts

You can follow this effort here,  with the 1st pictures from the town

http://www.playa.info/playa-del-carmen-forum/35443-hurricane-assistance-needed-majahual-asap-playa-folks.html

And more importantly, please contribute to the effort thru the PayPal links

This town was the bulls eye for the 3rd strongest storm on record!



Tony, Cheri, Claudia and I have just now returned to Playa after a long and tiring day. In addition to the 4 of us, there were 6 or 7 other volunteers, and a total of 5 vehicles convoying down south to Majahual to bring the donated supplies we’d collected in the last day to give to those hit hardest by Hurricane Dean. This was not an official Red Cross visit; while Claudia volunteers for them, this was a mission from her heart arranged to immediately get supplies to those who most needed them. She will report her findings and photographs of the damage to the Red Cross tonight, who will hopefully be assisting with relief efforts very soon.

Since Majahual is such a long drive from us (I think it took us around 3 or so hours, maybe more), we didn’t see any hurricane damage for a long time, so I don’t think any of us were truly prepared for what we saw when we arrived. They could not have been hit harder. None of us had ever seen Majahual before, sadly, so we had nothing to compare to, but it wasn’t difficult to see that this town looks RADICALLY different from the way it looked just 3 days ago. The people there have lost everything. Their homes, their clothes, furniture, their businesses…everything.

Still, the town was a hive of activity. The Army was busy cleaning up trees and clearing the streets and all the locals buzzed around cleaning up debris and clearing the land. We set up “camp” in a couple of locations and started dividing up the donations we had, non-perishable food items, drinking water, clothing, candles, and more. Our plan was to get what we had to the people immediately, assess what else was needed, and return to Majahual this Saturday to bring more supplies.

Despite all of this incredible destruction, no one was sitting and weeping. No one was bitter or complaining. When the people of the town gathered around us to receive the donations, they were not grasping or taking more than they needed for a day or two. They carefully chose items of clothing and suggested to others around them items that would suit their needs. One man came to ask Cheri if he could please have one t-shirt, as he had been wearing the same one for 4 days. If I say any more about this right now, I’m going to cry and I have to get this finished tonight.

So much more is needed. We saw people filling up bottles of water from a stagnant swamp. We didn’t have enough supplies for everyone. Tomorrow, Tony and Cheri will use the money that has been donated to buy as many needed items as they can. Beans, rice, tortillas, water, etc.

Please, if you can give even one dollar to help, your generosity will be put to such good purpose. Every single penny of your donations will go DIRECTLY into the lives of the people of Majuhual and the surrounding villages. We are paying for ALL of our own expenses, including gasoline and our own food and water. There is absolutely NO overhead.

To donate money via paypal, go to www.paypal.com and click on the "send money" tab.

The paypal email account to use is:
helpthechicas at lunabluehotel.com (We are using the same paypal account we used for Alex & Mayte's accident, since it's already set up).

We are going back to Majahual on Saturday with as many supplies and volunteers as we can get. If you have any donations, monetary or otherwise, please bring them to Luna Blue tomorrow, Friday, August 24 (Calle 26 between 5th and 10th avenues).

Needed items include:
- Roofing material, cardboard, triple, construction material
- Water, juice
- Non perishable food
- Medicines
- Clothes and shoes in good shape
- Blankets, mattresses and pillows
- Diapers and baby products
- Powdered milk
- Utensils, shovels, machetes…etc.

We were so lucky here in Playa del Carmen and the Riviera Maya that we received no damage from this devastating storm, but my joy and relief is certainly tempered by the compassion I feel for the unfortunate areas that did.

I don’t think that I will ever be able to convey to you what I saw today or how it has moved me. I will leave the photographs to tell Majahual’s sad story (and these are just a handful of the photographs, we will post more tomorrow).

- Mahahual suffers
  • From: Michael Hopson <mike at hotinplaya.com>
  • Date: Sat, 25 Aug 2007 15:23:20 -0500
Title: Mahahual suffers
Cancun, Cozumel and the Playa Del Carmen made out very good,

The town of Tulum did okay, but there is damage along the beach, and Akumal suffered extensive damage.

But the Costa Maya, “Mahahual was in the bulls eye, and had incredible damage.

This is a photo essay I put together showing Mahahual in good times, and scanned newspaper pictures of the aftermath

Mike Hopson

http://web.mac.com/hotinplaya/Site/MAHAHUAL.html

- Mahahual Devastated!
  • From: "mike and chrissy hopson" <hotinplaya at playful.com>
  • Date: Wed, 22 Aug 2007 20:14:14 -0500
Dean made a direct on Mahahual in the Costa 
Maya,  I have not seen anything on the American 
networks, but this was in our local paper 
"Quintana Roo" POR ESTO (playa del Carmen)

As I posted a few days ago, the Costa Maya is a 
thin strip of land , with the sea to the east, 
and mangroves to the west, extending 30 miles 
to the mainland, it is like being on an island, 
maybe 10 feet in height.  The town is 2 blocks 
wide, sea to the front mangrove (swamp) to the 
back

The (normal) pictures are from a trip we made 
there a few years ago, Mahahual was a boom town 
with the new "Port Costa Maya" cruise ship 
terminal just installed, and it was growing 
from a sleepy fishing village of 300 people , 
to a small town to support the cruise ship port.

The pictures and the story say the town is 
gone, the few remaining buildings will have to 
be demolished

my pictures were taken in the same location as the news papers!
The paper (and other sources) say's the entire 
town was "forcibly " evacuated by the military 
before hand, and no one was lost

mike hopson

JPEG image

JPEG image

JPEG image

JPEG image

JPEG image


- Cozumel Update
  • From: "Village Tan Kah" <info at villagetankah.com>
  • Date: Tue, 21 Aug 2007 11:57:16 -0500
Title: Cozumel Update

Aug 21 12 noon

Hurricane Dean spared us thank goodness.  After touring around, there is no realy damage here.  No downed trees, nothing much to report.  There are some areas of the island that are without power, although the electric company is already out and about fixing everything.  Cable is sporadic Telephone and internet are still going strong.  No reports of flooding.  The storm drains that were finished after Wilma have been working well.

The east side, where the brunt of this storm was felt, has faired well.  Reports are the 1 road that goes around the island has been washed out in 2 locations.   

There are still some large waves to the south and east of the island.

God bless those to the south of us who took the eye. 

Roberta Cwiertnia

www.bluebubble.divers


- Update
  • From: "Blue XT~Sea Diving" <info at bluextseadiving.com>
  • Date: Tue, 21 Aug 2007 08:55:17 -0500

Correction/clarification to my last update.  Chetumal did take a direct hit and Valle Hermoso is JUST north of where the collapsing eye is passing now.

 

Christi Courtney

Blue XT~Sea Diving

www.bluextseadiving.com

 


- Cozumel is fine...
  • From: "Blue XT~Sea Diving" <info at bluextseadiving.com>
  • Date: Tue, 21 Aug 2007 08:42:10 -0500

August 21, 2007, 8:30am local time

 

Cozumel survived the night with only some heavy TS force winds and rain.  We lost power at 4:15am, but power loss is not island wide.  From my upstairs balcony, I could still see lights in centro and along the waterfront even.  I’m updating from a dial-up connection and battery power on my laptop.

 

From where I am, I see no evidence of downed power lines, trees, or anything serious…just a lot of debris in the streets.  Of course, the other side of the island and the waterfront areas may have a tad bit more damage…when I can get out, I’ll report back on the rest of the island.  We dodged a big one though!

 

My significant other and I spent a good portion of the evening on the phone with his family in Chetumal, and we have yet to reach or hear anything from his other sister who is in Valle Hermoso, which is not far inland from Mahajual and Felipe Carillo Puerto where the eye made direct landfall.  As of this writing, the southern eye wall is just passing through, so they have several more hours of intense winds.  This is their first hurricane in approximately 30 years, and they’re paying heavily.  Just like we did during Wilma, they’ve been fighting to keep the water out of the house all night and are terrified and exhausted.  I’ll give a status report when we next talk to our family in Chetumal.

 

Cozumel has seen the worst that we’re going to see of Mean Dean…now we can only pray for those who remain in his path.

 

Christi Courtney

Blue XT~Sea Diving

www.bluextseadiving.com

 

 


- Playa del Carmen, Q. Roo, Mexico 2007-08.21 08:30
  • From: "Rohan Barnett" <rohan.barnett at ahcacao.com>
  • Date: Tue, 21 Aug 2007 08:33:23 -0500
Local Date: Tuesday 21-AUG-07
Local Time (-6h GMT): 08:30 AM
Location: Centro, Playa del Carmen, Q. Roo, Mexico
Report: Just did a quick drive around town. Saw a few fallen fences
and some trees, branches, etc. but no serious damage (though some
people may have been unlucky). Our only worry is how the south of the
peninsula has fared. Still no electricity. This is probably my final
report.

Rohan Barnett
--
http://www.ahcacao.com


- Playa del Carmen, Q. Roo, Mexico 2007-08.21 05:45
  • From: "Rohan Barnett" <rohan.barnett at ahcacao.com>
  • Date: Tue, 21 Aug 2007 05:45:04 -0500
Local Date: Tuesday 21-AUG-07
Local Time (-6h GMT): 05:45
Location: Centro, Playa del Carmen, Q. Roo, Mexico
Report: Playa del Carmen has experienced strong winds during the night
but little else. It's still pretty gusty. It is doubtful that much (if
any) damage has been caused. Still no electricity which probably means
that the electricity company believes that there is still the
possibility of danger.

Rohan Barnett
--
http://www.ahcacao.com


- Playa del Carmen, Q. Roo, Mexico
  • From: "Rohan Barnett" <rohan.barnett at ahcacao.com>
  • Date: Tue, 21 Aug 2007 01:51:37 -0500
Local Date: Tuesday 21-AUG-07
Local Time (-6h GMT): 1:50
Location: Centro, Playa del Carmen, Q. Roo, Mexico
Report: The power was cut at about 01:00am as hurricane Dean's winds
rose. Fortunately for us, the storm seems to be following it's track
to the south. Unless something truely spectacular occurs my next
report will come after the storm has passed.

Rohan Barnett
-- 
http://www.ahcacao.com


- Puerto Morelos 01:00 am cst update
  • From: frank dale <daleandfrank at yahoo.com>
  • Date: Mon, 20 Aug 2007 23:24:17 -0700 (PDT)
Winds currently 25 mph from the ENE.  So far we have had virtually no rain.  Power was out from 10pm untill 12:30am.  Just saw the 2:00 am (EDT) hurricane center update that stated sustained winds are at 165 mph with gust to 195 mph.  I cannot begin to imagine the devastation that will cause at the point of landfall.
 
We have been under a curfew since 11:00pm and the last beach observation at that time had the water level close to 200 feet above mean tide level.  Beach access roads had water close to our main street, Ave Javier Rojo Gomez. 


Frank in Puerto Morelos, Mexico
http://www.vivapuertomorelos.com/

- Category 5 Hurricane DEAN to touchdown at 200 Kms South of Playa del Carmen around 7 - 8 am Tuesday morning
  • From: "Warren Brownstein & Dayni Candiotti " <afrem at prodigy.net.mx>
  • Date: Tue, 21 Aug 2007 01:05:55 -0500

FYI

Playa del Carmen / Puerto Aventuras is only receiving light winds and rainfall at 1:00 am Tuesday morning.

Eye of the Storm to touchdown just North of Chetumal ( some 200 Kms. South of Playa del Carmen ) early Tuesday

Morning.  So far so good...we expect heavier weather around 7:00 to 8:00 am Tuesday morning, however our area,

Puerto Morelos and Cancun should not end up badly hurt.

Further reports around 8:00 am Tuesday the 21st of August.

Saludos Cordiales,

Warren Brownstein

Playa del Carmen


- Live from Cozumel at 12:30am
  • From: "Blue XT Sea Diving" <info at bluextseadiving.com>
  • Date: Tue, 21 Aug 2007 00:58:15 -0500

August 21, 2007 - 12:30am here in Cozumel

 

Up until an hour ago, all we had was an impressive lightning storm, a few gust of about 40mph, and some random heavy showers. The wind right now is like a “norte” (nor’easter without the cold).

 

At about 11:15, the winds picked up significantly and the rain started again.  I would say these were easily TS force winds.  I don’t expect it to get much worse for us.  Looks like we dodged this one.  Considering what we went through in 2005 with Emily and Wilma, I think we deserve a reprieve.

I am very happy that we were prepared for the worst and there really wasn’t any reason until late yesterday afternoon for us to think otherwise, but this is like kindergarten compared to Wilma, or even Emily. I think anything less than a Cat 4 will be "easy" for us after Wilma. Solid preparation is the key as well.  The peace of mind solid preparations give are priceless.  At this rate, we may have the boats back in the water by tomorrow afternoon, and definitely by Wednesday!

All the prayers and thoughts that you all sent our way, please focus them now on Chetumal, Mahajual, Felipe Carillo Puerto, and the others south of us that will take the hard hit from this Cat 5 storm. They are going to need it...the aftermath is going to be horrible for them!  It’s been 30 years since Chetumal experienced a direct hit!

 

Christi Courtney

Blue XT~Sea Diving

www.bluextseadiving.com

 

 


- Update from Puerto Morelos, Q.. Roo, MX
  • From: frank dale <daleandfrank at yahoo.com>
  • Date: Mon, 20 Aug 2007 19:30:12 -0700 (PDT)
The good news from here is that Dean will come ashore well south of us
here in Puerto Morelos. (1/2 way between Cancun and Playa del Carmen).
  Wilma was enough for the next 10 years or so.  However, we are
concerned about of neighbors to the south.
  
  Preperations began here on Thursday and by yesterday all boats had
been remove from the water and most places were boarded up.
  
  As of 7:00 pm cst winds are currently from the NNE at 10 mph and we
have experienced scattered showers.
  
  Water on the beach has risen around 30 feet above the normal mean
tide line.
  
  Frank in Puerto Morelos
  www.vivapuertomorelos.com
  www.vivapuertomorelos.com/bb


Frank in Puerto Morelos, Mexico
http://www.vivapuertomorelos.com/

- Cozumel Prepared for Dean
  • From: Jeanette Chin <jeanette.chin at ypbr.com>
  • Date: Mon, 20 Aug 2007 20:28:53 -0400
Title: Cozumel Prepared for Dean

COZUMEL, MEXICO Prepared for Hurricane Dean

COZUMEL, Mexico (Aug. 20, 2007) As forecasted by the National Weather Service, Hurricane Dean is expected to move through Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula early Tuesday morning (Aug. 21). While no longer projected to be in the direct path of Hurricane Dean, Cozumel expects tropical storm conditions and has instituted several hurricane preparedness initiatives in compliance with government safety and planning guidelines to ensure the safety of the community and travelers.
 
According to Raul Marrufo, Director of the Cozumel Tourism Promotion Board, the island is fully prepared for the storm.  “The safety of the local community and tourists visiting the destination is our utmost priority,” says Maruffo. “We were able to evacuate the majority of tourists from the island with the help of our air partners including Air Canada, Delta, American Airlines and Continental Airlines, who arranged flights just to bring travelers back home.”
 
Current updates from the island as of 6:00 p.m. Central Time:

·      The Cozumel airport officially closed today (Aug. 20) at 6:00 p.m. CDT.
·      All passenger ferry services between Cozumel and Playa del Carmen ceased operation at 6:00 p.m. CDT on Sunday, Aug. 19.           
·      Cruise ships scheduled to visit Cozumel have been re-routed, with the last cruise ship arriving to the island on Saturday, Aug 18.  Cruise ships will continue to be re-routed over the next few days, and are expected to return on Thursday, Aug. 23, pending conditions from the storm.
·      The majority of tourists have been evacuated from Cozumel, with 350 domestic and international travelers remaining on the island.
·      Several hotel properties, including the Cozumel Palace, Iberostar Cozumel Hotel, Occidental Grand and Occidental Allegro Cozumel, have evacuated their guests to sister properties located on Mexico’s mainland.
·      Travelers remaining in Cozumel will be staying at hotels that have been officially designated as safety shelters and are equipped with necessary supplies for the storm.





- Mean Dean up date
  • From: Michael Hopson <mike at hotinplaya.com>
  • Date: Mon, 20 Aug 2007 14:29:48 -0500
Title: Mean Dean up date
Just returned from our final swing thru town “Playa Del Carmen”

Its a breezy day, and we can see the clouds building in the East, radar shows the 1st bands approaching Cozumel.

The town is relaxed and calm, people got ready quickly with out the last minute rush’s we saw with Wilma, there are not even lines at the gas stations, and commodities are still in supply, tho if you are looking for alcohol, they stopped selling yesterday when we went to a “Red Alert” (hurricane warning)

Every one is feeling relieved and confident that we (should) will be spared any large scale damage.  As Dean Closest approach is over 100 miles now.

The latest advisories on the radio are being announced in Spanish, then repeated in Mayan and again in English.

They have announced a curfew starting at 6:00pm, Several people have been asking when they will turn off the power grid, but I have not heard anything about that.

The federal highway 307, that runs from Cancun to Chetumal will be closed at Tulum for south bound traffic starting at 3:00pm (you do not want to get caught on the jungle road during a storm)
.
The major population centers that are in the direct path is ‘”Felipe Carrillo Puerto”  Felipe is down the jungle road from Tulum and was the Mayan  Capital during the Chaste war, for Mayan Independence (they lost).

Based on 11:00am position

Felipe   closest point of approach 30 miles (right quadrant)

Farther south is the town of Bacalar, closest point of approach 35 miles

The largest population center to be affected is Chetumal, the Capital of Quintana Roo , closest point of approach 40 miles.

The people who are in the most dire position is Mahahual and the Costa Maya,

closest point of approach 10 miles.

If any one has some 1st hand knowledge of what is taking place in these areas please post


- Reporting in from Cozumel
  • From: "Blue XT~Sea Diving" <info at bluextseadiving.com>
  • Date: Mon, 20 Aug 2007 14:19:29 -0500

Well, Cozumel Is ready and I’ve never been so impressed with how well a community comes together and gets what needs to be done, DONE!  As of 10am this morning, everything along the waterfront is boarded up and closed or within an hour or so of finishing. 

 

We are prepared for the worst, and it looks as if we will be spared for the most part.  After Wilma, I think we’ll all find Dean an easy one to endure.  If the current track and predictions hold true, we may just be operational again by Thursday or Friday!

 

A curfew is in effect for Cozumel beginning at 6:00pm today.  I’ll report back later with an update!

 

 

 

Christi Courtney
Owner/Operator

Blue XT~Sea Diving
Calle 5 #400-B, Entre REM y Av. 5
Cozumel, Q.ROO, MX 77600

info at bluextseadiving.com
www.bluextseadiving.com

tel:

at bluextseadiving.com"" target="_blank" title="Click to call. Cheap rates & no headset required!">(52) 987-869-8574

 

Want a signature like this?

 


- Grave threat for Cosata Maya
  • From: Michael Hopson <mike at hotinplaya.com>
  • Date: Mon, 20 Aug 2007 10:40:11 -0500
Title: Grave threat for Cosata Maya
Looks like Cozumel and the Mayan Riveria will be spared a direct hit!

Dean is headed for the Costa Maya, which runs from the belize boarder north
for a round 90 miles?.

It is very sparsely populated with Mahahual (mid way) and Xcalak (on the
border with Belize) being the centers of population. I am guessing , but I
would put the total population of full time residents well under 10,000
souls.

This is not a place you want to be during a major hurricane, as it is a
strip of land between the sea and mangrove wet lands behind you, I doubt
that the elevation is more than 10-20 ASL.

I am sure the authorities are in a full scale evacuation across the 30 mile
new highway (completed in 2003) before that , it was a multi hour dirt road
to safety.

This area has a sad history with hurricanes, At the end of the 19th Century,
the Mexican Navy took control over what is today the state of Quintana Roo
and established a military presence in 3 villages.  Xcalak in the south,
Vigia Chico in the middle (at the top of the Costa Maya), and Puerto Morelos
in the north (20 mile south of present day Cancun).

In the 1950s, Xcalak’s economy was very healthy, boasting developments such
as stone and wood construction, an ice factory, and electric plant,
storehouses for large quantities of copra, grocery stores, a billiard hall,
a movie theater, an ice cream factory, etc. Xcalak was the most important
supply center in the region. After Hurricane Janet, Xcalak was in ruins.
Many of its inhabitants died, including the lighthouse keeper and many
sailors. *from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Costa_Maya

On a trip to the Costa Maya, you still see the ruins from Janet of 1955, she
was a cat 5 storm and is the 10th strongest storm on record, her name was
retired when they started doing that in the 60's.

11 days prior to that Hurricane Helena hit the fishing and coconut
plantations of Vigia Chico,(northern Costa Maya) and was totally destroyed
with the sea meeting the mangoves , the town was never rebuilt and is a
ghost town.

In one year, 2 of the original 3 Mexican Republic towns were wiped out,

These pictures are from that road trip, to Vigia Chico( 2hour dirt road drive from Mahahual)  the abandoned home was a plantation owners home, Both graves in the family plot were from September 2005

From the Arial shot, you can see why you would not want to be there!

If there is anyone with 1st hand knowledge of today's activities in Costa
Maya, please post

Mike Hopson


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- 48 Hours until Hurricane Dean makes landfall in México.
  • From: "Fam. Brownstein" <afrem at prodigy.net.mx>
  • Date: Sun, 19 Aug 2007 07:11:00 -0500

Goodmorning everyone.

 

The latest news from México puts Hurricane Dean on track to have the eye of the store enter at Punta Allen, However,

as it is still too early to be sure, I will continue to send updates every 12 Hours.

State authorities are prepared to handle this event, ..still they are asking that any and all tourists who can leave for home

do so for there obvious security.

The Riviera Maya Hotel Association is presently in the process of having all member Hotels inform and direct the guests

have on site.

Most local homes and stores in the area are in the process of boarding up. We will keep you informed.

 

Saludos Cordiales,

 

Warren Brownstein

Playa del Carmen, México

 

 

 

 


- Dean/Cancun
  • From: "Lore G. de Nicassio" <zihuateteo at yahoo.com>
  • Date: Sat, 18 Aug 2007 15:49:48 -0700 (PDT)
Hey Gert...hope you are safe and peaceful.

Although the news report that Dean will be heading toward the Yucatan
Peninsula (and I've been praying very hard that it shifts slightly
north and passes through the channel, somewhat sparing us here in
Mexico and our brothers and sisters in Cuba), I had a startling
revelation today. Something that I never took the time to notice with
Gilbert and Wilma: the birds are gone. Just something that struck me as
an eerie warning.

Blessings to all.



Godspeed...


       
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- Playa del Carmen, México gets ready for a possible visit from Hurricane Dean.
  • From: "Fam. Brownstein" <afrem at prodigy.net.mx>
  • Date: Sat, 18 Aug 2007 01:58:08 -0500

The stores were full of concerned but not over – reactive Playenses this evening!

Plywood, electric generators and food / water stock supplies were the order of the day.

Too early to say if we will get the full affect of Dean, so everyone here is waiting until Sunday evening, before implementing any full fledged contingency plans.

 

We all live on the Tourism trade here in Playa del Carmen and as Michael Hopson has already

Stated, we are very proud and confident of our State Governor and our Civil Protection Services.

We are all looking out for the best interests of our Tourists!

 

Meanwhile,as Dean heads to JAH land, …I hope Jamaica does not get hurt.

 

My Next Report will be issued on Sunday August 19th.

 

Good luck to everyone on the first real event of our season.

 

Saludos Cordiales,

 

Warren Brownstein

Playa del Carmen

 

mexdomains at hotmail.com


- Mean Dean
  • From: Michael Hopson <mike at hotinplaya.com>
  • Date: Fri, 17 Aug 2007 23:36:39 -0500
Title: Mean Dean
Here we go again! From Playa Del Carmen, Quintana Roo, Mexico

Last year was a nice reprieve from 05 , Emily and Wilma!

We were at a BBQ tonight, and there was a sense of relief since the NHC 5:00pm update showed Dean swinging north. That has been tempered upon arriving home to see we are back in the bulls eye!

We have been seeing a lot of activity today, this morning I noticed a pamphlet had been put under our door concerning hurricane preparedness , put out by the State Government, outlining what to do antes (before) , durante (during) and despues (after) a storm. The stores were pretty full, I am sure tomorrow everyone will start their preparations in full swing.

What is encouraging for us here, is that our Governor, Lic. Felix Arturo Gonzalez Canto was in office for a few short months when Wilma hit. His leadership and the governments actions in the aftermath have been recognized by the United Nations as a model for disaster relief. Here in Playa Del Carmen we had power after 3 days while friends in Florida were without for 3 weeks, and we experienced Wilma as a cat 4(36 hrs) and they as a cat 2 (8 hrs).

Hopefully we will not have to experience another nation backed rebuilding effort that put us back on our feet in a few short months. But we are confident that the People and Government are up to the challenge!

Our thoughts and prayers are with the people of Jamaica and the Cayman Islands.

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