Carlos regains hurricane strength off Mexican coast

Author: Associated Press
Published: Updated:

ACAPULCO, Mexico (AP) – Officials closed schools and readied shelters along Mexico’s southwestern coast as Hurricane Carlos swirled just offshore, battering beaches with high waves and strong winds.

The storm grew back into a marginal hurricane on Monday, but the U.S. National Hurricane Center said it was likely to strengthen only slightly before fading back to tropical storm force by Wednesday which brushing past the Puerto Vallarta region.

The storm was centered about 85 miles (140 kilometers) southwest of the port city of Lazaro Cardenas around midday Monday with top sustained winds of 75 mph (120 kph), the Hurricane Center said. The storm was moving west-northwest about 6 mph (9 kph).

Beaches in Acapulco over the weekend were much less busy than usual as six-foot (two-meter) waves washed away more than a dozen small palm-frond huts and strong winds knocked down some trees. Workers cleared away hammocks and lounge chairs from beachside hotels and cafes.

Jonathan Capote, spokesman for Guerrero state’s Civil Protection agency, said no serious damage had been reported and only one injury was known, someone who fell from a fence.

“Aside from a few fallen billboards and trees, we haven’t had any damage,” he said.

Out in the sea, two surfers braved the dangerous conditions to ride the big crashing waves.

Sergio Pina, a business risk manager from Mexico City, stood among a group of spectators watching the wild weather.

“It’s impressive. It’s very strong,” he said. “There are launches turned over, fallen cables.”

Officials said schools would be closed Monday and urged residents to stay inside their homes. State authorities said 507 shelters, including 98 in Acapulco, had been prepared along Guerrero’s coast.

Rain accumulations of 6 inches to 10 inches (15 to 25 centimeters) were possible in southwestern Mexico, with a chance for up to 15 inches (37 centimeters) in some areas, according to the hurricane center.

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