Friday, December 1, 2023

Hurricane Genevieve delivers torrential rains, strong winds and big waves in Baja Sur

Hurricane Genevieve was bringing high winds and intense rain to Baja California Sur Thursday morning, as it moved northwest parallel with the state’s Pacific coast.

Effects of the Category 1 hurricane were felt Wednesday and into the early hours of Thursday in Los Cabos on the southern tip of the Baja Peninsula.

According to the U.S. National Hurricane Center, Genevieve was 160 kilometers west-northwest of the tip of the Baja Peninsula with maximum sustained winds of 120 kilometers per hour at 8:00 a.m. local time. The cyclone was traveling northwest at 19 kilometers per hour. Genvieve will remain a hurricane through most of Thursday, forecasters predict, before deteriorating into a tropical storm as it moves over cooler water.

The hurricane warning that was in effect for the area between Los Barriles and Todos Santos has been replaced with a tropical storm warning for Los Barriles to Cabo San Lázaro.

Rains in the area have been nearly incessant since the predawn hours of Wednesday. Flooding temporarily closed the highway between San José del Cabo and Cabo San Lucas, and one resident of Cabo San Lucas reported that his rain gauge overflowed at 254 millimeters. Another 50 to 100 millimeters of rain are expected to fall today bringing totals in some areas to 305 millimeters.

An automated observation site near the Cabo San Lucas Marina reported a wind gust of 74 kilometers per hour. Landslides were reported in several areas, several lamp posts were toppled by the winds overnight and people attempting to drive through flooded areas had to be rescued. 

Genevieve has generated waves of eight to 10 meters high to pound Baja’s coast. Beaches and ports in Los Cabos have been closed since Tuesday.

Erick Santillán, director of Civil Protection for Los Cabos, said the hurricane was 60 kilometers from the peninsula at its closest point. 

An estimated 8,500 tourists are in Los Cabos. On Tuesday, the airport reported 34 domestic and international flights were canceled.

Residents are encouraged to remain in their homes until the tropical storm warning is lifted.

So far, the only casualties reported due to the hurricane are a 15-year-old tourist from Nuevo León and the 30-year-old lifeguard who tried to save her from drowning in Cabo San Lucas Bay.

Source: La Jornada (sp), Cabo Mil Noticias (sp), Milenio (sp)

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