TULUM, Mexico (AP) — Hurricane Dean headed for a collision course with Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula today, forcing the state-run oil company to abandon its offshore rigs and sending tourists fleeing for the airports and locals searching for higher ground. The storm killed 10 persons as it crossed the Caribbean.
Dean already was a powerful Category 4 storm as it raked the Cayman Islands. The U.S. National Hurricane Center said it could grow into a monstrous Category 5 hurricane before slashing across the Yucatan Peninsula and emerging in the oil-rich Gulf of Campeche.
Pemex, Mexico's state oil company, said today it was evacuating all 18,000 workers from rigs in the southern Gulf of Mexico, in the storm's path.