Hurricane Ernesto has reached Mexico's southern province of Yucatan, unleashing high-speed winds and causing landslips and flooding.

Ernesto, reaching speeds of 85 miles (140km) per hour, landed on the Mexican coast of Mahahual, about 40 miles (65km) northeast of Chetumal, according to the Miami-based National Hurricane Centre (NHC).

The hurricane has since moved inland at a rate of around 15 miles per hour, and it is forecast to reach the Gulf of Mexico within a couple of days.

Rainfall of 4 to 8 inches (10 to 20 cm) is expected over the southern part of the Yucatan peninsula and Belize, which has issued a hurricane warning for its entire east coast.

Surrounding states have also taken preemptive measures. The Guatemalan government has sent aid and rescue teams to its northern states as a precaution, and warned of landslides and overflow in higher parts of the country.

In Nicaragua, the government has evacuated around 1,500 people from coastal residences and ordered all boats to remain in port.


Ernesto has already caused significant damage in Yucatan, home to a number of tourist resorts including Cancun.

It is reported that several streets have been flooded in Chetumal, while more than 1300 tourists have been evacuated from coastal towns such as Mahahual and Balacar.

There have also been reports of landslips in Felipe Carrillo Puerto, around 150km from Chetumal.

However, many tourists and residents in the affected area appear unconcerned.

"I'm absolutely fine. This is an adventure," Patricia Footit, a Canadian tourist, told Reuters.

"I was just on the beach chilling out when the loudspeaker said we had to evacuate."

Despite the flooded streets, the majority of the residents preferred to stay in their homes.

"This is normal. It is not the first time that a hurricane has come through here," said Carmen Salis, a resident of Lazaro Cardenas.

Ernesto is a category 1 hurricane, the lowest on the five-point measurement scale.