Weakened Tropical Storm Lorena nears Mexico resort area
LOS CABOS, Mexico – The streets emptied and schools closed as Tropical Storm Lorena moved near the resort-dotted tip of Mexico’s Baja Peninsula on Friday, but it weakened later in the evening as it drifted north along the Pacific coast.
The U.S. National Hurricane Center said the storm was located west of the resort of Cabo San Lucas on Friday evening, and had maximum sustained winds near 40 mph (65 kph). It was expected to weaken to a tropical depression on Saturday before dissipating on Sunday or Monday.
Earlier in the day, the port of La Paz was closed to small-craft navigation. Classes were cancelled in Cabo San Lucas and some schools were being prepared as shelters for possible evacuations. Rain fell and waves broke hard at Medano Beach at the very tip of the peninsula, where workers hurried to store chairs, tables and kayaking and snorkeling equipment away from the beach.
Businesses closed and left sandbags to prevent any flooding. Hotels were still operating, but the staff was advising guests to avoid some beaches.
“They told us the beach is closed because the waves are very strong, and actually there are even police making sure no one goes in,” said Sam Kallman, who arrived in Los Cabos from San Diego with his wife on Wednesday. “We wanted to go walk around to see how bad it was. We are already wet but we hope tomorrow we can have access to the beach, because that’s why we came here.”
A tropical storm warning was in effect for southern Baja California from Agua Blanca to Buenavista.
By Friday evening the storm was centred about 115 kilometres west-southwest of Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, and moving northwest along the peninsula’s Pacific coast near 15 km/h.
Lorena’s winds were only a little stronger than those of a newly formed tropical depression that was drenching the other side of Mexico, on the Gulf coast.
That unnamed storm, with maximum sustained winds of 55 km/h, was centred over Tampico and was heading inland at mid-afternoon.
© 2013 The Canadian Press