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Old 10-19-09, 01:46 PM   #1
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Post Hurricane Rick claims first victim in Mexico resort (AFP)

AFP - Hurricane Rick has claimed its first victim as it churned northward along Mexico's Pacific Coast, whipping up a giant wave that swept away a man at the Los Cabos tourist resort, authorities said Monday. The 38-year-old Mexican, Miguel Barraza, "was devoured by fierce waves and we couldn't do anything to save his life," said the head of local rescue services, Francisco Cota Marquez, adding that the death occurred on Sunday.

Rick packed sustained winds of 100 miles (160 kilometers) per hour on Monday, down from 180 miles per hour on Saturday, according to the US National Hurricane Center, which dropped the storm from a top category five to category two.

But forecasters predict Rick will pick up speed as it moves toward the northeast, with the eye of the hurricane arriving at southern Baja California late Tuesday or early Wednesday.

The government of Mexico has issued a hurricane watch for the south of the peninsula and advised visitors and tourists to avoid coastal areas.

Security forces on Monday evacuated beaches in the high-end tourist destination popular with US celebrities.

Mexican weather services warned of winds and rain over north and northwest Mexico and the NHC warned about "potentially dangerous surf conditions" from large ocean swells.

At 2100 GMT Monday, Rick was around 325 miles (525 kilometers) south-southwest of the resort town of Cabo San Lucas as it headed northwest at seven miles (11 kilometers) per hour, parallel to Mexico's coast, the NHC said.

Rick is the seventh hurricane of the eastern north Pacific 2009 season.

Baja California also was battered in early September by Hurricane Jimena, which caused floods that killed at least one person.

Old 10-20-09, 04:41 PM   #2
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Default Re: Hurricane Rick claims first victim in Mexico resort (AFP)

The story is silent on exactly where this poor man was when swept away. However, it appears that Cabo is destined to have to deal with increasing numbers of similar deaths. Historically, the Pacific side had few hotels. Solmar and Finesterra were it. Because of rapidly disappearing real estate, the Pacific side has witnessed an enormous amount of development, even including the cutting out of part of a mountain to provide a road (tunnel) to the coast. Even back in the day, it seemed that there was always a seasonal report of someone being swept away on the Pacific side. Picture this. When standing on the beach in front of the Solmar or Finesterra, there is nothing ahead of you until Antarctica. Thousands of miles of open ocean. Rogue waves are the problem. There is no current monitoring system that would catch a rogue wave. So, Cabo vacationers, stay the heck away from the water on that side!

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