Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 21 August 2014

Beatriz weakens to tropical storm

Men fish along the Playa de Oro shore in the Pacific resort city of Manzanillo, Mexico (AP)

Hurricane Beatriz has weakened into a tropical storm and headed out to sea after pounding Mexico's resort-studded Pacific coast with heavy rains and winds.

The National Hurricane Centre in Miami said Mexico's government had discontinued a hurricane warning for a stretch of coastline from La Fortuna to Cabo Corrientes. Beatriz is expected to continue weakening over the next 48 hours.

Beatriz's maximum sustained winds have dropped to near 60 mph. It is about 110 miles south-south-west of Cabo Corrientes and moving west into the Pacific at near 12 mph.

On Tuesday, Beatriz brushed Mexico's Pacific coast as a hurricane forcing tourists from beaches and into hotels.

No injuries or major damage were reported in Manzanillo, said David Sanchez, Manzanillo's civil protection director. He said authorities saw two palm trees that had been knocked over.

As of Tuesday afternoon, one Mexican tourist had been injured when a tree fell on him in Acapulco and a boy had gone missing after being swept by a current. Authorities closed the ports of Acapulco, Manzanillo and Zihuatanejo and urged hotel owners to tell guests not to go to the beach.

A steady rain was falling in Manzanillo on Tuesday, but people were mostly going about their business with normal vehicle traffic in main avenues and people standing at bus stops.

In Manzanillo, many tourists were hanging out at the beach despite warnings not to.

Farther south along the coast in Zihuatanejo, civil protection officials ordered the port closed completely and authorised five shelters in case of floods or mudslides.

Some streets and avenues in the tourist district were flooded and city officials had to pick up fallen trees.

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