October 25th, 2011

Update: Hurricane Rina

Posted at 9:16 AM ET

rina-2-smallRina is now a category 2 hurricane after rapid strengthening occurred during the evening of October 24. According to the National Hurricane Center (NHC), Hurricane Rina is now located around 210 miles (335 kilometers) southwest of Grand Cayman and around 320 miles (515 kilometers) east-southeast of Chetumal in Mexico. Rina is forecast to strengthen during the next 24 hours and could become a major hurricane by this evening or early Wednesday.

Storm Update

According to the NHC, Rina is currently traveling toward the west-northwest at approximately 3 miles per hour (6 kilometers per hour). On the NHC forecast track, a gradual turn to the northwest with an increase in forward speed and strength is expected over the next 48 hours. The center of Rina is currently forecast to be approaching the east coast of Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula as a major category 3 hurricane by Thursday morning. Currently, hurricane force winds extend 15 miles (30 kilometers) and tropical storm force winds extend 115 miles (185 kilometers) from Rina’s center.

rina-2-big

Hazard data illustrated in the CAT-i map was taken from i-aXs®, Guy Carpenter’s web-based risk management platform. i-aXs users can view impacted areas on any map as well as see how their portfolios were affected. Please contact your broker or GC Analytics (SM) representative for assistance or go to www.i-axs.info for further information.

Warnings and Alerts

The government of Mexico has now issued a tropical storm watch for the east coast of the Yucatan Peninsula, from Chetumal to Punta Gruesa and a hurricane watch from north of Punta Gruesa to Cancun. Rina is expected to drop 2 to 4 inches (51 - 102 millimeters) of rainfall over the Cayman Islands.

Projected Forecast

The projected forecast sees Rina strengthening to become a category 3 hurricane by Thursday, as it approaches Mexico’s popular tourist coast on the Yucatan Peninsula. From here, the NHC’s 5-day forecast sees the storm weakening considerably before tracking across the popular tourist island of Cozumel and making a second landfall in the Mexican state of Quintana Roo, near the beach haven of Cancun early on October 28. The storm is then expected to take a sharp turn to the east and make a third landfall in western Cuba on October 30 as category 1 hurricane or tropical storm. Although at present there is considerable uncertainty concerning Rina’s exact path, reports say that most of the long-range computer forecasts currently do not expect the storm to threaten energy installations in the Gulf of Mexico.

Preparations in Mexico

According to reports, officials in Cancun have already started to make preparations for storm shelters and potential evacuations, and will be meeting to draw up emergency plans from tonight. The Cancun tourism director said that hotel operators, the civil defense department, tourism and public safety authorities were taking the necessary steps for providing shelter, transportation and information for tourists and the general population.

Sources: National Hurricane Center, WSI, Agence France Presse, Associated Press, Reuters News.

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Guy Carpenter publishes CAT-i reports for major natural catastrophes worldwide. These reports cover catastrophes including worldwide tropical cyclones, earthquakes, major UK and European floods and any other natural event that is likely to incur a significant loss to the (re)insurance industry. Please email CAT.i@guycarp.com if you wish to be added to the free email distribution list.

Guy Carpenter compiles RISK-i reports for major technological or man-made events worldwide. These reports cover risks to property, transport and life including explosions, fires, crashes, engineering disasters and terrorist attacks that are likely to incur a significant loss to the (re)insurance industry. Please email RISK.i@guycarp.com if you wish to be added to the free email distribution list.

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