WASHINGTON, Sept 17 — Hurricane Norma was bearing down on Mexico’s Baja California coastline yesterday and was expected to pass near the popular tourist area by today or tomorrow on its present course, according to the US National Hurricane Centre.
As of 1pm Eastern Time (1800 GMT), the storm was some 240 miles (385 kilometres) south of Los Cabos, packing maximum sustained winds of 75 miles (125 kilometres) per hour and pushing north at two miles (four kilometres) an hour.
It triggered tropical storm warnings, meaning a tropical storm conditions within 36 hours for parts of the peninsula, as the NHC forecast up to 20 inches of rain in isolated pockets which “may produce life-threatening flash floods.”
Another storm, Max, which made landfall on Mexico’s Pacific coast as a Category One hurricane on Thursday night but was later downgraded, had largely dissipated as of yesterday.
It had threatened southern parts of the country including the state of Oaxaca which is still struggling to recover after it bore the brunt of the damage from the 8.2 magnitude earthquake that struck Mexico only last Thursday.
Last week, Hurricane Katia battered the Atlantic coast of Mexico and later blew itself out in the centre of the country without causing major damage.
At the beginning of September, Tropical Storm Lidia left seven people dead on its stormy passage through the state of Baja California.
Mexico is one of the countries most vulnerable to hurricanes because of its thousands of miles of coastline on both the Atlantic and Pacific and its proximity to the hurricane belt. — AFP