Hurricane Season 2005
Hurricanes Emily and Wilma hit the Riviera Maya, Mexico
Welcome to the Caribbean mate!
This month's spotlight is a combination summary and photo essay of the 2005 hurricane season as we experienced it here on the Riviera Maya in Quintana Roo, Mexico. It goes without saying it's been a tough season. The good news is that most of the Riviera Maya bounced back from the storms in record time. Those places that need more attention are currently being worked on. The Costa Maya (farther south) weathered both storms virtually unscathed. If you are headed to Mahahual and Xcalak those towns are in fine shape. That's true for most of the Riviera Maya, anywhere from Playa del Carmen south. Repairs toward Cancun are well underway and a lot of progress is being made.
To summarize our season, Northern Quintana Roo was hit by two hurricanes. Emily on July 17th cruised through our area quickly causing damage predominately to the foliage. Three months later hurricane Wilma landed on top of Isla Cozumel damaging virtually everything. It stripped away most of the cruise ship pier and then moved northwest, coming ashore north of Playa del Carmen, headed for Cancun. Towns, including Playa del Carmen, suffered less damage because Wilma's eye missed them. They were on the "friendly" side of the storm with mostly offshore winds. Towns and areas south of Playa del Carmen include (destination pages): Puerto Aventuras, Akumal, Chemuyil, Soliman Bay, Tankah Bay, Tulum, Sian Ka'an and all points south.
When the Big Bad Wolf blows
Note- the principal construction method in the Riviera Maya is cement block with rebar reinforced cement. These building are rarely damaged by wind. The effects of the wind depend on nearby obstructions that deflect the wind, and of course the direction changes as the hurricane passes. Even hurricane force waves have problems damaging cement block buildings. Boarded upper levels of buildings are seldom affected by wind or seas. Palapas may blow down or be holed, but even most of these survived this year's storms in fair shape and needed only patches.
This being the Thanksgiving season and un-official end of hurricane season it is a good time to give thanks to all who have poured their time, money and energy into the recovery efforts. MUCHISIMO GRACIAS to all and ADIOS hurricane season 2005! We wish everyone a very happy holiday season.
Bottom line the Riviera Maya is in fine shape. 5th avenue in Playa del Carmen is rocking. Most businesses from Playa del Carmen to Tulum are open and operating normally. Riviera Maya beaches are generally wider.
Puerto Morelos fishing dock stripped clean.
Below: kids cleaning a boat bottom by the main pier.
Below: The spirit to work to set things right is irrepressible in the Riviera Maya. After cleaning and flipping the boat these kids get direction from a fisherman about the next task. Puerto Morelos is primarily a fishing town.
Below: Puerto Morelos main beach by the lighthouse. There was much destruction but the old leaning lighthouse still stands and the beach remains. I walked up this beach and there was lots of activity clearing debris.
Below: Akumal, Lol ha beach bar/restaurant less than 2 weeks after hurricane Wilma. Lol ha is now running at 100%. The beach bar and restaurant are open. Click here for Akumal after-the-storm web page and for a realtime view click here for the Akumal beach webcam.
Below: Tulum beach and below that, pueblo photos. Click here for Tulum after-the-storm web page
Below: Soliman Bay, click here for Soliman Bay after-the-storm web page
Below: Tankah Bay, click here for Tankah Bay after-the-storm web page
Below: Playa del Carmen, click here for Playa del Carmen after-the-storm web page