Season’s 1st Hurricane Aims Heavy Hit at Mexico Tourist Zone
MEXICO CITY (AP) — Hurricane Agatha, the season’s first, headed for a stretch of tourist beaches and fishing towns on Mexico’s southern Pacific coast Monday amid warnings of dangerous storm surge and flooding from heavy rains.
After forming on Sunday, Agatha quickly gained power, and it was predicted to make landfall as a powerful Category 3 hurricane Monday afternoon or evening, the U.S. National Hurricane Center said.
It was moving toward the area near Puerto Escondido and Puerto Angel in the southern state of Oaxaca — a region that includes the laid-back tourist resorts of Huatulco, Mazunte and Zipolite.
The hurricane center said Agatha could “bring an extremely dangerous storm surge and life-threatening winds.”
Late Sunday, Agatha had maximum sustained winds of 110 mph (175 kph) — just 1 mph under the threshold for a Category 3, the hurricane center said. The storm’s center was about 140 miles (225 kilometers) southwest of Puerto Angel and heading to the northeast at 6 mph (9 kph).
A hurricane warning was in effect between the port of Salina Cruz and the Lagunas de Chacahua.
The civil defense office in Oaxaca said the hurricane’s outer bands were already hitting the coast Sunday.
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