Hurricane Odile Hits Mexico: Winds Hit 125mph

Holidaymakers have been sheltering in hotels and many coastal resorts have been evacuated as Hurricane Odile batters Mexico’s popular tourist region of Baja California.

The storm has reached the resort area of Los Cabosin the western state, with winds of up to 205kph (125mph) uprooting trees.

Flights were cancelled and shelters for up to 30,000 people prepared amid warnings of large waves and torrential rain that could lead to landslides and flash floods.

Experts said it was set to be the strongest hurricane in the region since Kiko in August 1989, which was also a category three by the time it hit the peninsula’s eastern coast.

Electricity has also been turned off to avoid damage from power lines if the winds bring them down.

Denise Mellor, a tourist from Orange County, California, who is staying in San Jose del Cabo, said: “It’s a little bit (unsettling) that we don’t have a choice but to sit in here and hope for the best. So that makes me a little bit scared.”

Odile had been rated a category four hurricane but it lost strength on Sunday afternoon just before it hit the southern tip of the Baja California peninsula, the US National Hurricane Centre said.

The eye of the storm is expected to move northwest by the middle of this week and US Marines are on standby.

Around 26,000 foreign tourists and 4,000 Mexicans are in the resort and fishing region, according to officials.

As authorities walked the street using megaphones to call for people to leave their house, Baja California Sur GovMarcos Covarrubias said the evacuations were to “guarantee wellbeing”.

Los Cabos resident Felipa Flores said she was heading for a shelter. She said: “Later on we’re going to be cut off and my house of wood and laminated cardboard won’t stand up to much.”

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15 September 2014 | 3:34 pm – Source: orange.co.uk

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