Los Cabos tourists hunker down

Wednesday, September 2nd, 2009

Jason Lange

A hotel worker tapes up a window in Cabo San Lucas as Hurricane Jimena approaches. Jimena, a Category 4 storm, headed toward Mexico’s Baja California peninsula on Tuesday, forcing tourists to flee Los Cabos hotels and resorts. Photograph by: Reuters

Hurricane Jimena slammed Mexico’s Baja California peninsula with howling winds on Tuesday, drenching the Los Cabos resort area where tourists crowded boarded-up hotels.

The U.S. National Hurricane Center said Jimena packed 205 km/h winds with higher gusts.

Sheets of rain poured down from dark grey skies as Jimena’s winds buffeted the tip of the peninsula, home to golf courses, yachting marinas and five-star hotels. The hurricane was forecast to make landfall today in a sparsely populated area farther up the peninsula.

Swanky hotels nailed boards over their windows, wrapped exposed furniture with plastic and turned conference rooms into storm shelters.

Residents huddled in shelters in schools after 5,000 people were evacuated.

Torrential rain flooded main roads, turned streets in one shanty town into muddy rivers and caused a sewage system in the town of San Jose del Cabo to overflow.

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