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Wilma targets Yucatan, Florida


CANCUN, Mexico (Reuters)- Hurricane Wilma weakened slightly from its record strength in the Caribbean sea on Thursday, but threatened to pound tourist resorts on Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula with a 10-foot tidal surge and 145 mph winds.

From the Yucatan to Honduras, Cuba and the fragile Florida Keys island chain, tourists sought to flee and residents boarded up homes and stores as authorities urged people in the path of the deadly hurricane to evacuate. Wilma killed 10 people in Haiti early in the week.

Wilma was expected to miss oil and gas facilities in the Gulf of Mexico, which are still reeling after hurricanes Katrina and Rita in August and September, but Florida's orange groves were at risk.

Wilma briefly was the strongest Atlantic storm on record in terms of barometric pressure on Wednesday after growing with unprecedented speed into a Category 5 hurricane, the top rank on the Saffir-Simpson scale of intensity.

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