Hurricane Dean made landfall on Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula yesterday, but the tourist area of Cancun has been spared the full force of the storm.

The hurricane had strengthened to a category five storm as it crossed the Gulf of Mexico, but was downgraded to a category three shortly after it reached land. It was then downgraded to a category two as it moved inland.

Dean passed to the south of Cancun, with the strongest winds hitting less densely populated areas. However, an estimated two-thirds of tourists had already fled the resort.

The ancient Mayan ruins in Quintana Roo and Yucatan appear to have escaped damage, and no deaths have been reported.

The storm moved northwest into the Gulf of Mexico where winds of up to 80 miles per hour are still being recorded. Dean is expected to strike Mexico again some time today between Veracruz and Tampico.

The Jamaica Tourist Board has reported that the island sustained mainly cosmetic damage as Hurricane Dean swept south of it with a category four rating.

Montego Bay’s international airport has already reopened with two flights departing yesterday, although Kingston airport is understood to have remained closed, largely due to access problems as opposed to damage to infrastructure.

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