Emergency Message for U.S. citizens

This message as published by the US consulate in Merida, Yucatan.  

October 25, 2011, 9:30am

Subject: Hurricane Rina

Dear U.S. citizens:

This Emergency Message is to inform U.S. citizens that the Mexican Government has issued a Tropical Storm watch from Chetumal and the Belize border north to Cabo Grueso (this area includes the tourist areas of Majahual and Xcalak), and a Hurricane Watch from Cabo Grueso north to Cancun (this area includes the tourist areas of Tulum, Cozumel, Playa del Carmen, Puerto Morelos, and Cancun). Please visit the National Hurricane Center’s website <http://www.nhc.noaa.gov>  to follow the storm’s path.

Americans in Quintana Roo, including Cancun, Playa del Carmen, Cozumel, and Tulum, should take the following facts into consideration as they plan for the arrival of Hurricane Rina, and make decisions about whether to remain in the area:

*       Past storms have closed the airports in Cancun and Cozumel for several days, requiring travelers to make major changes to their plans.

*       The ferry connecting Cozumel to Playa del Carmen also closes before a hurricane strikes. When the airport and the ferry are closed, there is no way from Cozumel to the mainland or the United States.

*       Electricity including refrigeration and air conditioning, have been unavailable after past storms.
*       Mexican authorities are likely to conduct mandatory evacuations of low-lying and coastal areas, including hotels on the beach. Mexican government shelters are adequately supplied, but do not provide accomodation at resort hotel standards.
*       Businesses, including grocery stores and pharmacies, may be closed after the storm, and may have suffered damage.
*       In the wake of past storms, due to airport delays and local business closings, Americans have run the risk of running out of required medication.
*       Friends and relatives are likely to be concerned about you. We recommend that you contact them to ensure that they have contact information for you, including the hotel name or property address where you are staying. Both land lines and cell phone networks may become unreliable due to the hurricane.
*       We strongly urge Americans to sign up in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP). This system will allow us to answer questions from concerned friends or relatives more efficiently. You can enroll online at https://travelregistration.state.gov/ibrs/ui/

In addition to danger from wind, life threatening flash floods and mudslides are possible. Coastal areas are especially vulnerable to these hazards. U.S. citizens in coastal areas may be impacted by the storm and are strongly encouraged to monitor media reports, and the
Mexican Government’s Proteccion Civil (Civil Protection) website, http://www.proteccioncivil.gob.mx <http://www.proteccioncivil.gob.mx> for updated information about the storm and to follow official instructions. The website of the Proteccion Civil for  the State of Quintana Roo can be monitored at www.proteccioncivil.qroo.gob.mx <http://www.proteccioncivil.qroo.gob.mx> . U.S. citizens are urged to stay clear of beaches as rough seas associated with storm conditions
create severe hazards. U.S. citizens should stay in contact with relatives and friends in the U.S. to apprise them of their whereabouts, both before and after the storm. Visitors should be familiar with their hotel or cruise ship evacuation plans. If you must travel during this time please follow normal heavy rain precautions. U.S. citizens should carry their travel documents (i.e. U.S. Passport, Birth Certificate, picture ID’s, etc.) with them at all times or secure them by placing them in a safe waterproof location.

For the latest security information, Americans traveling abroad should regularly monitor the Department’s Internet web site at http://travel.state.gov <http://travel.state.gov>  where the current  Worldwide Caution Public Announcement, Travel Warnings, and Public Announcements can be found. Up to date information on security can also be obtained by calling 1-888-407-4747 toll free in the United States, or, for callers outside the United States and Canada, a regular toll line at 1-202-501-4444. These numbers are available from
8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays). American citizens traveling or residing overseas are encouraged to register with the appropriate U.S. Embassy or Consulate.

Additional information on hurricanes and storm preparedness may be found in the “Hurricane Season-Know Before You Go” pamphlet at http://travel.state.gov/travel/cis_pa_tw/cis_pa_tw_2915.html travel/cis_pa_tw/cis_pa_tw_2915.html>  and on the “Natural Disasters” page of the Bureau of Consular Affairs’ website at: http://travel.state.gov/travel/tips/emergencies/emergencies_1207.html travel/tips/emergencies/emergencies_1207.html> .

Updated information on travel in Mexico may be obtained from the Department of State by calling 1-888-407-4747 within the United States and Canada, or from overseas, 1-202-501-4444. These numbers are available from 8:00 am to 8:00 p.m., Eastern Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).

The U.S. Consulate in Merida, Yucatan, Mexico, has responsibility for the Mexican States of Quintana Roo, Yucatan, and Campeche. The Consulate remains open for business. The Consulate can be reached during its regular business hours (M-F, 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.) by
telephone at 999-942-5700; by fax at 999-942-5777; and by email at meridacons@state.gov meridacons@state.gov> .  After hours, for emergencies involving U.S. citizens in the Mexican states of Yucatan, Quintana Roo, and Campeche, call the Consulate’s main number and follow instructions to be connected to the Merida duty officer.

Full contact information follows:

CONSULATE MERIDA (Calle 60 No. 338-K x 29 y 31, Colonia Alcala Martin, Merida, Yucatan, Mexico)
Main switchboard dialing from the US: 011-52-999-942-5700
Main switchboard dialing from outside Merida but within Mexico: 01-999-942-5700

CONSULAR AGENCY CANCUN (Blvd. Kukulkan Km 13, Torre La Europea,
Despacho 301 ZH, Cancun, Quintana Roo, Mexico 77500)

Office dialing from the US: 011-52-998-883-0272

Office dialing from outside Cancun but within Mexico: 01-998-883-0272

CONSULAR AGENCY COZUMEL (Plaza Villa Mar en el Centro, Plaza Principal, (Parque Juárez between Melgar and 5th Avenue) 2nd floor, locales #8 and 9, Cozumel, Quintana Roo, Mexico)

Office dialing from the US: 011-52-987-872-4574

Office dialing from outside Cozumel but within Mexico: 01-987-872-4574

CONSULAR AGENCY PLAYA DEL CARMEN (“The Palapa,” Calle 1 Sur, between Avenida 15 and Avenida 20, Playa Del Carmen, Quintana Roo, Mexico)

Office dialing from the US: 011-52-984-873-0303

Office dialing from outside Playa Del Carmen but within Mexico: 01-984-873-0303

This email is UNCLASSIFIED.

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Eduardo from All About Playa

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