Saturday, October 21, 2006
October 13, 2006
BY Ioan Grillo Associated Press
CANCUN, Mexico -- "Carl Johnson said his heart missed a beat when he saw the beach outside his Cancun timeshare. He was expecting little sand a year after the resort was savaged by the most intense Atlantic hurricane on record. But what he saw took him by complete surprise. His patch of golden-white sand had tripled in size, stretching a gaping 140 feet toward the crystal-clear Caribbean water...
Cancun's new beach, built by pumping 96 million cubic feet of sand from the ocean floor, is the highlight of an extreme makeover the resort has gone through since it was punished by Hurricane Wilma on Oct. 21, 2005...
Wilma came with little warning, swelling from a tropical storm to a Category 5 hurricane in under 24 hours, then pounding Cancun for two days and nights, felling roofs, hurling palm trees and submerging streets in stinking flood water.
When the storm finally retreated, an 8-mile stretch of beach was almost completely washed away, exposing a line of ragged rocks.
However, worldwide beach erosion has led to rapid advances in the techniques for its reclamation, and Belgian company Jan de Nul made Cancun a showcase for its newest technology.
Two ships sucked up sand 20 miles off the Mexican coast, carried it to the shore and used colossal pipes to lay down half a mile of beach a week.
"The white beaches are what Cancun is all about. So we wanted to make sure we were getting that same silky sand that people love, and a lot more of it than before," said Patricia Lopez of Cancun's Convention and Visitor's Bureau.
The new beach is an average of 140 feet wide, compared to an average of 70 feet before Wilma, officials say..." -more-
Posted by KNRX at 5:19 PM