CANCUN, Mexico — Tourists fleeing Hurricane Rina crowded Cancun's airport Wednesday even as the storm lost some of its punch while heading toward Mexico's resort-studded Caribbean coast.
Rina is forecast to remain a hurricane as it sweeps along Mexico's most popular tourist destinations of Cancun, Cozumel and the Riviera Maya today, though forecasters predicted it would be downgraded to a tropical storm upon hitting land south of Cancun late tonight.
Authorities evacuated some fishing communities and closed schools along the coast of Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula, and the federal government closed the archeological sites that dot the coastline. NASA cut short an undersea laboratory mission near Key Largo, bringing the crew back to land.
Rina's maximum sustained winds dropped to 85 mph Wednesday afternoon, down from 110 mph earlier in the day.
The projected track shows Rina curving east toward Cuba and the Straits of Florida by early next week, though the Hurricane Center cautioned "there is great uncertainty as to where Rina will be located by the weekend."