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Mexico evacuates 2,500 as hurricane lashes coast
by Staff Writers
Mexico City (AFP) Sept 07, 2014

This September 5, 2014 NASA GOES Project image shows Hurricane Norbert swirling along the Pacific, off the coast of Mexico. Norbert crept up just off Mexico's Pacific coast Friday, dumping heavy rain that forced 1,000 people to take refuge in shelters while government workers were told to stay home. Norbert was blowing hurricane-force winds just offshore of the tourist-friendly coast of the Baja California peninsula as it moved northwest at 13 kilometers (eight miles) per hour, the US National Hurricane Center said. The category one hurricane in the five-level Saffir-Simpson scale was packing maximum sustained winds of 150 kilometers (90 miles) per hour as it churned some 135 kilometers from Cabo San Lazaro. Carlos Enrique Rincon, the head of civil protection in the state of Baja California Sur, said more than 1,000 people who live in high-risk areas were taken to temporary shelters. Image courtesy AFP.

More than 2,500 people were evacuated and a fishing village severely flooded as Hurricane Norbert swirled off Mexico's Pacific coast on Saturday, officials said.

The storm had surged to a category three hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson scale but by late Saturday had lost some of its punch and was a category two system, said the US National Weather Service, packing top sustained winds of 100 miles per hour (155 km/h).

Additional weakening was expected in the next 48 hours, forecasters said.

But heavy rains throughout the region were still expected, with the central and northern regions of the Baja peninsula bearing the brunt.

Around 2,500 people had flocked to evacuation shelters in Mexico after the storm lashed coastal communities, said Comondu mayor Venustiano Perez.

One of the worst-hit towns was San Carlos, a fishing village of 7,000 people, which suffered severe flooding after levees protecting the community broke.

"In some areas of San Carlos the water was one meter (three feet) high," said Pedro Garza of the Municipal Civil Protection Unit.

About 500 homes were damaged while some families who refused to leave their properties were forcibly evacuated, he added.

Last year, Mexico was simultaneously struck by a pair of hurricanes, Ingrid and Manuel, on both coasts, killing 157 people, destroying bridges and burying most of a mountain village in the Pacific coast state of Guerrero.


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Mexico City (AFP) Sept 03, 2014
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