MEXICO CITY — Hurricane Delta hit Mexico's Yucatán Peninsula just south of Cancún Wednesday morning as a Category 2 storm, pounding the city's famous strip of beachside hotels with powerful winds as it moved north toward Louisiana.

The storm had weakened in the hours before striking Cancún, Latin America’s most popular tourist destination. There were no immediate reports of casualties in the city or in neighboring Cozumel. Local officials reported fallen trees and electrical poles. Videos posted on social media showed damage to building facades.

By Wednesday afternoon, the storm had moved into the Gulf of Mexico, veering north. Meteorologists predict it will strengthen over open water as it heads toward Louisiana.

About 39,000 people in Cancún were evacuated ahead of the storm’s landfall. Many of them were American, European and Mexican tourists. They were taken to 167 inland shelters. Delta had been forecast to arrive as a Category 4 or 5 storm but weakened overnight. Still, its winds were measured at over 100 miles per hour when it made landfall.

“Fortunately, the impact was not as serious as we once expected,” said Mara Lezama Espinosa, Cancún’s mayor.

Carlos Joaquín, governor of the state of Quintana Roo, where Cancún is located, expressed gratitude Wednesday afternoon after the storm had passed.

“There are no injured, and we have no deaths,” he said. “What we have to do now is to recover our activities.”

Cancún’s economy has been dramatically affected by the coronavirus pandemic. Tourism has declined, and unemployment has spiked. The number of visitors in the city had begun to rise before Hurricane Delta formed off the coast. Data from Skyscanner showed that Cancún was among the most searched destinations for those making vacation plans this fall.

Antonio Riveroll, head of the city’s civil protection unit, said the storm appeared to have been “benevolent.” 

“We do not have serious damage,” he said. “We had more wind than water, so there are few floods. We have a lot of trees down, yes, and also advertisements. Some roofs were blown away, but there is no great destruction.”