Baja Roads, Weather & Services Road Conditions, New Construction, Weather Reports and More

Old 09-03-09, 03:12 AM   #1
Noticias's Avatar
Join Date: 07-13-09
Posts: 2,515

Noticias is on a distinguished road

Post Storm brings havoc to Mexican resorts (AFP)

PUERTO SAN CARLOS, Mexico (AFP) – Tropical Storm Jimena lashed Mexico's Baja California peninsula Thursday with torrential rains and powerful winds, cutting off villages, destroying homes and leaving one person missing.

Downgraded to a tropical storm after making landfall as a hurricane, Jimena had top winds of 85 kilometers (50 miles) per hour as it moved north, US forecasters said.

The Miami-based National Hurricane Center (NHC) warned the storm's rains "could produce life-threatening flash floods and mud slides" and the area remained on a state of emergency.

"Sadly I can't say the worst is over yet, as Jimena is still in the north of the state," Social Development Minister Ernesto Cordero said on Mexican television as he surveyed the damage caused by the storm.

As residents hunkered in shelters or at home from the storm, Cordero welcomed the news that there had so far been no confirmed fatalities. But a fisherman has been missing from San Buto since late Tuesday.

Paola Torres, 21, endured a night of terror with her husband and two small children as the storm bore down on their home, cutting electricity, phone lines and water supplies.

"We tried to hide in the bathroom, but the wind tore off the wooden door," she told AFP.

But in a sign of a gradual return to normal life, shops began to reopen in Los Cabos resort, while some residents and tourists were seen strolling through the streets.

Two of the three international airports in Baja California Sur state also reopened, state officials said.

Jimena was forecast to weaken to a tropical depression by late Thursday as it passed over the area and moved out towards the Pacific, Mexican officials said.

Puerto San Carlos, a fishing village, was hit by heavy rain and roaring winds that destroyed dozens of houses, caused power and telecommunications outages and floods and felled trees, poles and billboards.

Streets turned to mud as bowed lamp posts dangled over rain-lashed roads littered with trees uprooted by huge gusts of wind that also sank five shrimp and tuna boats anchored at the port.

"Seventy-five percent of homes have been affected," said town delegate Humberto Arias.

Jimena was predicted to bring up to 38 centimeters (15 inches) total rain in some areas, and some eight to 13 centimeters (three to five inches) rain over the center of the peninsula and parts of western Mexico in the coming days.

Luxury tourist resorts on the southern tip of the peninsula around Los Cabos were spared a direct hit from the most powerful hurricane so far this year, and most foreigners departed before Jimena struck.

Having missed the southern resorts and La Paz, Jimena moved northward along Baja California's east coast.

While more than 15,000 families were evacuated from high-risk zones and thousands of tourists had deserted the resorts in recent days, villagers and slum dwellers further north on the largely arid, mountainous spit of land had no choice but to tough it out.

The Mariner of the Seas cruise ship -- the second-largest in the world -- canceled a scheduled stop at the upscale Los Cabos resort destination with some 5,000 passengers aboard.

In Los Cabos, hotels felt the pinch after a major international tax conference organized by the Paris-based Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) had to be moved to Mexico City because of the storm.

An estimated 2,000 tourists, many of them American, fled the resort strip as Jimena approached and the beaches, ports and the airport were all closed to the public on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, Tropical Storm Erika, which formed in the Atlantic Tuesday, was expected to gradually weaken as it headed toward the Leeward islands and then onto the US and British Virgin Islands as well as Puerto Rico.

Bringing gusts of wind up to 40 miles an hour (65 kilometers), it was expected to dump up to eight inches of rain in some places over Puerto Rico.


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Tsunami swells reach Mexican resorts (AP) Noticias Baja News Wire 5 03-11-11 08:49 PM
Funeral of U.S. Border Agent Brings More Unity Between the U.S. and Mexico Noticias Baja News Wire 0 02-23-11 03:04 PM
Well capping brings relief but fear of abandonment (AP) Noticias Baja News Wire 1 08-07-10 12:25 PM
Weakened Tropical Storm Rick nears Mexico resorts (AP) Noticias Baja News Wire 0 10-20-09 06:34 AM