Mon, Jun 08, 2015 - Page 1 News List

Hurricane Blanca heads for Mexico’s Pacific coast

Reuters, MEXICO CITY

Hurricane Blanca weakened slightly to a category 3 storm on Saturday as it churned toward Mexico’s Baja California peninsula, according to the latest update from the US National Hurricane Center.

Blanca, the second hurricane to form off Mexico’s Pacific coast this year, was about 510km south of the tourist hub of Cabo San Lucas which as at the tip of the peninsula.

The hurricane, which was rated a category 4 storm earlier in the day, had maximum sustained winds of 195kph and is expected to make landfall early tomorrow morning near the lightly populated area of San Carlos, a small fishing village.

Blanca was likely to be downgraded further to tropical storm status by yesterday on reaching the west coast of the southern Baja California peninsula, the center said.

A second US Air Force reconnaissance plane was sent on Saturday morning to evaluate the storm, which was expected to turn toward the north-to-northwest later in the day.

Mexico’s national civil protection coordinator Luis Felipe Puente told reporters that major Pacific coast ports including Manzanillo and Puerto Vallarta had already been closed to smaller ships as a precaution.

He added that 18,000 tourists were vacationing in and around the Cabo San Lucas resort, nearly three-quarters of whom are foreigners and might require help leaving the area.

Blanca could produce rainfall of between 15cm and 25cm over much of Baja California, including the possibility of “life threatening flash floods and mudslides,” the center added.

In September last year September, Hurricane Odile battered southern Baja California, wreaking havoc on Cabo San Lucas and stranding thousands of tourists.

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