Pacific hurricane hits Mexico coast
Published 21/06/2011 | 08:23
Heavy rains and strong winds from Hurricane Beatriz pounded resorts and beaches on Mexico's Pacific coast late, flooding streets as authorities closed popular tourist ports in the storm's path.
The US National Hurricane Centre said Beatriz's winds grew to a hurricane-force 75 mph and the storm would move near or over the coast of Mexico overnight.
A hurricane warning was issued from the resort city of Zihuatanejo north-west to Cabo Corrientes. Watches and tropical storm warnings went out for other parts of the coast. Ports were closed in Acapulco, Manzanillo and Zihuatanejo.
Beatriz was located about 85 miles south-east of Manzanillo late on Monday night and was moving north-west at 12 mph.
A light rain was falling in Manzanillo, where the hurricane was expected to arrive early on Tuesday, but people mostly went about their business, waiting for buses and shuttling to and from work. The eye of the storm is expected to pass within 37 miles of the beach town on Tuesday.
Manzanillo authorities sent out recommendations to hotels to tell guests not to go to the beach. But many tourists remained at the beach anyway.
"There's a lot of wind," said Carmen Lopez, a 40-year-old Mexican tourist holidaying in Manzanillo with about 15 family members from Guadalajara, three hours' drive inland. "I'm kind of scared ... but we're staying here in the hotel for our vacation."
The Esquivias family of Concord, California, who arrived on Monday for their vacation, said they were not worried about an impending hurricane at all.
"A lot of people are saying it isn't true," said Sandra Esquivias, 15.
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 on Monday night.