When Mexico’s most famous tourist resort shuts down
The resort, popular with Mexicans, has closed its doors after a massive wildfire tore through the historic city.
The resort, known as El Chorro, had a capacity of just under 100,000 people but is now one of Mexico’s few remaining major tourist destinations.
More than 1,000 firefighters have battled the blaze, which started in the northern region of Yucatan.
It has charred the resort’s historic town, the Cathedral of San Carlos, and burned a large part of the town’s main square.
“It’s a tragedy, a tragedy,” said Antonio Ríos, the mayor of the nearby town of Quito, which was once a popular holiday destination.
“If you look at the pictures of the damage, you can see that it’s not only our town but many other places, that the roof is destroyed.”
“The damage has been severe, we’re talking about the entire roof,” he added.
“I don’t know how long this fire will last.
It’s a big disaster for the town.”
The fire started on Monday night, prompting the closure of the resort, which attracts about one million people a year.
“The fire is not only in Quito but also in all of Mexico,” said Mayor Río.
“We have to take the measures to protect ourselves, we can’t be there, and we have to keep everything in order.”
The city’s main business district has also been closed, with businesses in the nearby tourist area of Toluca closed to visitors as well.
“I am very sad.
The town is in my heart.
I love my city, I love our people and I love the tourism industry,” Toluca Mayor Miguel Ángel Pérez said.”
My heart is very sad.”
The closure of El Churro’s main shopping and entertainment district, El Teatro, also prompted some businesses to close.
“When we opened this place, we wanted to create a different experience for people,” said Maria Coronel, a local resident who was shopping at a nearby department store when the blaze broke out.
“We had a big party.
I was in the store when they said there was a fire.
I came out of the store to check it out and I saw the fire burning on the roof.
I went to the front of the building to help, I was afraid.
I thought: ‘It’s going to burn down the whole building’.”
In the early hours of Tuesday, the blaze appeared to be extinguished.
The fire destroyed a large section of the roof of the cathedral, the city’s most historic structure.
In a statement, Toluca’s mayor said: “El Chorros fire has destroyed our town and caused the destruction of many important buildings, including the Cathedral, which we are trying to rebuild, but the situation is precarious.”
“We are not able to put up a temporary wall or a temporary roof, as this would require the destruction or rebuilding of several large buildings.”
Toluca has become a major tourist destination for the US, attracting tens of millions of visitors a year, but has struggled to attract tourists due to high crime and a lack of public transport links.
It also has a high crime rate, with a record number of murders in 2017, the deadliest year for which statistics are available.
In 2016, more than 1.2 million Mexicans died from the heat and humidity, with many of those deaths attributed to the blaze.
The US has responded to the fire by ordering all flights to and from Mexico to be grounded and that the country suspend all border crossings.