Hurricane Lorena is dumping heavy rain on Baja California Sur but the twin cities of Los Cabos were spared a direct hit as the storm took an “erratic” northward path toward the coast of Sonora.
The Category 1 hurricane was 90 kilometers southeast of Loreto, Baja California Sur, and 270 kilometers south of Guaymas, Sonora, over the Gulf of California at 10:00am CDT on Saturday, the United States National Hurricane Center (NHC) said. The storm was moving northward at 19 kilometers per hour.
The center of Lorena is expected to continue moving over the Gulf of California today and approach the northwest coast of mainland Mexico late tonight or early Sunday.
A hurricane watch is in effect for Huatabampito, Sonora, to Puerto Libertad in the same state, while a hurricane warning between Bahia San Juan Bautista and San Evaristo on the eastern Baja California coast has been downgraded to a tropical storm warning.
Maximum sustained winds are about 120 kilometers per hour with higher gusts but a slight weakening of the hurricane is forecast before the center of the storm reaches the coast of Sonora.
Baja California Sur and Sonora are expected to get between seven and 15 centimeters of rain Saturday and Sunday, while five to 10 centimeters is forecast for northwestern Sinaloa. The NHC said the rainfall may result in life-threatening flash flooding.
Lorena made landfall on Friday near Cabo Pulmo, a cape about 100 kilometers northeast of Cabo San Lucas and 65 kilometers from San José del Cabo.
National Meteorological Service (SMN) chief Jorge Zavala said that Lorena’s “path has been extremely erratic and uncertain,” explaining that its trajectory changed from that which was forecast.
For days, forecasters had predicted that Lorena would make landfall in or very close to Los Cabos but the storm took a last-minute turn towards the east of the resort area.
More than 1,000 people took refuge in shelters in Los Cabos yesterday, while two shelters were opened in Loreto on Saturday, Baja California Sur Governor Carlos Mendoza Davis said. Authorities said that just under 200 people sought refuge in shelters in the state capital, La Paz.
Mendoza Davis said on Twitter on Saturday morning that no serious hurricane damage had been reported in either Los Cabos or La Paz and operations at airports in both locations had returned to normal.
The governor said that electricity will be restored to the communities of Los Planes and La Ribera later on Saturday and warned motorists to take care on the Los Planes highway as heavy rain caused a section of the road to collapse.
In Sonora, Civil Protection authorities have activated an orange alert indicating “high danger” for Hermosillo and municipalities in the south of the state while a yellow “moderate danger” warning is active for the northeast.
Source: Infobae (sp)