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Israelis visiting Mexico's east coast, expected to be hit by Hurricane Dean, should immediately leave the area, according to a warning issued by the Foreign Ministry on Monday.
"We have contacted the Jewish community in the Yucatan Peninsula, a community of a few hundred people, and asked them to help shelter Israeli tourists who failed to leave the area before the powerful arrival of Hurricane Dean to the area," Yosef Livne, Israel's ambassador in Mexico City, told The Jerusalem Post.
Livne said preparations for the hurricane in the area had reached their climax over the last few days.
"According to the newspapers here the storm will reach the area of Chetumal, Cancun, Islamujers and then cross the Yucatan Peninsula, where it is expected to weaken, and then gain speed again toward the Campeche Gulf [the Gulf of Mexico]."
In the last 48 hours, Mexican authorities on the east coast had taken measures to limit damage, such as removing electricity wires, Livne said. The area is heavily dependent on tourism.
On Monday, embassy personnel in Mexico City spoke with hotel and guest house owners in the region and asked them to assist Israeli tourists in distress. "We still urge people who can do so to leave the area for cities deeper inside the country," Livne said.
Mexicans were preparing for the storm by buying batteries, candles, food and water, he said, "but there isn't a sense of hysteria, yet."
Hurricane Dean is expected to hit Texas after it passes through the Gulf of Mexico, forecasters said on Monday.
Earlier on Monday, Dean hit Jamaica with heavy winds and torrential rains on its deadly march across the Caribbean. Alon Gildoni, the Jewish Agency envoy in Jamaica. told Ma'ariv, hours before the storm arrived there: "This is a real battle for survival. There is no other way to describe it."
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