Powerful Hurricane Odile lashes Mexico’s Pacific resort area

Powerful Hurricane Odile lashes Mexico’s Pacific resort area

Mon Sep 15, 2014 1:13PM GMT

A powerful hurricane has lashed Los Cabos resort area in Mexico’s western Baja California peninsula, forcing authorities to evacuate high-risk areas.

According to an advisory by the National Hurricane Center, the storm made landfall near Los Cabos at 9:45 p.m. local time on Sunday and moved to the northern parts at 16 miles (26 kilometers) per hour.

The Mexican government has declared a hurricane warning for Baja and a tropical storm warning for parts of the Pacific coast.

The hurricane reached category-four strength on the five-level Saffir-Simpson scale overnight. It has prompted authorities to evacuate thousands of tourists and locals from the vulnerable areas.

“The hurricane should steadily weaken during the next few days while the circulation and inner-core continue to interact with the Baja California peninsula,” the center said.

National Water Commission says the storm’s slow-moving nature has contributed to its strength.

Meanwhile, national coordinator for Mexico’s civil protection agency, Luis Felipe Puente, said 164 shelters were prepared with a capacity for 30,000 people in the peninsula.

The National Water Commission director, David Korenfeld, described the storm as a “highly dangerous” hurricane, adding a weather alert has been issued for the Baja California peninsula for at least the next 24 hours.

Officials said the major storm has produced winds of up to 300 kilometers an hour, adding that electricity would be shut off in the area to avoid damages from any downed power line.

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