This morning’s Diario de Yucatan shows a big photo of tourists enjoying themselves on a beach called Playa Delfines, which is the public beach on the Hotel Zone in Cancun. It sure looks beautiful! A typical Mayan Riviera beach, white sand, clear blue water, blue skies… you get the idea.
The article goes on to say that by tomorrow, Monday, 98 percent of residents of Cozumel will have their electricity back. In Cancun, a little over 50% have electricity now and 90% have water. Over 60% of residents in Playa del Carmen have their electricity back. And it was announced that four cruise ships will be stopping this week at Cozumel and Playa del Carmen. At the peak season, something like 11 ships stop just at Cozumel every day, so they aren’t up to full capacity yet, but that is certainly more than we would have expected this soon.
The death toll from Wilma in Florida was 21 people… and by then Wilma was a category 3 hurricane that turned quickly into a category 1 or 2 (according to an AP article) as it blew over Miami, Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach. In Mexico, Wilma landed as a category 4 hurricane and stayed over Cancun and Cozumel for a DAY AND A HALF! And in Mexico, there were 8 reported deaths. Where would YOU rather be in a hurricane? We’ll take Mexico any day… during AND after. According to an AP article, five days after Hurricane Wilma ripped through South Florida, about 832,700 people remained without power. Electricity might not be fully restored until Nov. 22, officials warned. Well, Mexico is quoting percentages, and Florida is quoting numbers, so we can’t really compare.
But you have to ask yourself, why is it that less harm was caused by a stronger hurricane in Mexico? Could it be that people are better prepared? That they build their houses and hotels with hurricanes in mind? We don’t really know the answer, but something is wrong with this picture.
Another article talks about how the cleanup and repair work started in Cancun even before the last winds stopped blowing. They have been working ever since, stopping only to let insurance adjusters come in and assess damage. A third article talked about how many people are saying that the destruction in Cancun and surrounding areas is not nearly as bad as the papers are making it out to be. We could have told you that! It’s the journalists job, and certainly the photographers job, to find and report the most sensationalist news… that is what sells papers and advertising.