Hurricane Raymond threatens another blow
MEXICO CITY — Newly formed Hurricane Raymond swirled on Sunday toward Mexico's southern Pacific coast, an area devastated by rains and mudslides from Tropical Storm Manuel last month.
The U.S. National Hurricane Center predicted Raymond would take a sharp westward turn and head out to sea before reaching land but warned that the Category 1 storm still might get as close as 50 miles, bringing the threat of heavy and possibly dangerous rains.
In a region where 10,000 people are still living away from their homes a month after Manuel caused widespread flooding and left landslide risks, officials hurried to get emergency teams in place and weighed possible further evacuations.
Mexican authorities pinned their hopes on a cold front moving from the north that could help force Raymond to turn away from the coast, said the head of Mexico's National Water Commission, David Korenfeld.
“The cold front coming down is what makes it (Raymond) turn to the left, but that is a model,” Korenfeld said. “If that cold front comes down more slowly, this tropical storm ... can get closer to the coast.”
Raymond's center was about 135 miles south of the beach resort of Zihuatanejo and had maximum sustained wind of 75 mph. The storm was moving north-northwest at about 6 mph, the hurricane center said. It said some additional strengthening was expected overnight, and the storm's forward motion was forecast to slow.
Authorities in southern Guerrero state, where storm deluges caused about 120 deaths from flooding and landslides in September, were more worried about Raymond's potential to bring more heavy rains than its winds.
The state government closed seaports, set up 700 emergency shelters and urged residents in risk areas to take precautions. Officials were expected to decide late Sunday on whether to order more evacuations, including from low-lying areas of Acapulco that flooded during Manuel.
Forecasters said Raymond was expected to slowly approach the coast late Monday or Tuesday but then begin to meander.
Forecasts warned that heavy rainfall was possible along the south-central Mexican coast in coming days and could cause life-threatening flash floods and mudslides.
A tropical storm warning and hurricane watch was in effect from Acapulco west to the seaport of Lazaro Cardenas.
“There will be rain for the next 72 hours along the Pacific coast, very heavy rain, torrential rain,” Korenfeld said.
The potential for damage from such rains is high. About 50 dams in the area were still over capacity, and officials were releasing water to make room for expected rainfall.
Dozens of hillsides along the coast are thought to be unstable and could collapse from additional rain. In advance of the storm, the government moved helicopters and work crews to the places that problems were most likely.
Some villages high in the mountains of Guerrero were still without electricity and phone service following Manuel.
About 5,000 people in Guerrero are still living in shelters after their homes were flooded, and another 5,000 who were evacuated from homes built on hillsides at risk of mudslides are staying with relatives on safer ground.
In Zihuatanejo, near the Ixtapa resort, authorities sent emergency personnel into low-lying areas to warn people to seek safer ground, said Miguel Quiroz, a local Red Cross dispatcher.
In Barra de Potosi, a beach area just outside Zihuatanejo, a light rain began falling Sunday but tourists were largely undisturbed by the storm's proximity.
“We've got bookings coming in, people are coming in,” said London native Les Johnson, an employee at the Our House bed and breakfast. “There's people on the beach, it's quite nice ... there's no problem at the moment.”
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Real-life ‘Ratatouille’ invade garden of Louvre
- Reports include ‘aliens’ as origin of Russian holes
- Ebola claims hero doctor in Sierra Leone
- Karzai’s kin killed in suicide bombing
- Israeli leader signals no quick end to Gaza conflict
- Shelling adds to mounting civilian toll in Ukraine
- PLO offers truce as at least 100 killed in Gaza
- Ebola claims Liberian doctor; American physician stable
- Costa Concordia completes final voyage
- Israeli PM warns of ‘prolonged’ campaign in Gaza
- Iraq’s split into 3 states becomes a reality