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Category 5 Hurricane hits Yucatan

"Category 5 Hurricane hits Yucatan" Continued...

Cancun still could face tropical-storm-force winds _ forecast to extend over an area of about 75,000 square miles, about the size of Nebraska or South Dakota.

"We're leaving. You don't play around with nature," fisherman Maclovio Manuel Kanul said, pulling equipment from his beachfront fishing shack near Cancun. "We still haven't been able to recover from Wilma, and now this is coming."

Belize, just south of Mexico, evacuated 6,000 people from the country's main tourist resort, San Pedro on Ambergris Caye, and 500 or so from nearby Caye Caulker, said national emergency coordinator James Jan Mohammed. People were urged to leave low-lying areas.

Authorities evacuated Belize City's three hospitals and were moving high-risk patients to the inland capital, Belmopan, founded after 1961's Hurricane Hattie devastated Belize City. Belize City Mayor Zenaida Moya urged people to leave, saying shelters aren't strong enough to withstand a storm of Dean's size.

Dean, the first hurricane of the Atlantic season, raked Jamaica and the Cayman Islands on Sunday, but both escaped the full brunt of the storm.

In Jamaica, the storm uprooted trees, flooded roads and collapsed some buildings. Downed utility poles left thousands without electricity or telephone service. Police said two men were killed: one when his house collapsed and another struck by flying debris.

Haitian officials on Monday reported two more deaths from the storm, raising the storm's death toll in the Caribbean to at least 12.

The worst storm to hit Latin America in modern times was 1998's Hurricane Mitch, which killed nearly 11,000 people and left more than 8,000 missing, most in Honduras and Nicaragua.

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