Weather

Hurricane Max weakens rapidly over southern Mexico

Posted 10:48 p.m. Thursday
Updated 10:50 p.m. Thursday

— Hurricane Max slammed into Mexico's southern Pacific coast Thursday, dumping rain on an area east of the resort city of Acapulco before rapidly weakening into a tropical storm as it moved inland into Guerrero state.

The coastline where Max made landfall is sparsely populated and dotted with fishing villages.

Guerrero Gov. Hector Astudillo warned that the rains would continue all night. Near Acapulco, the government worked frantically to widen a channel to the sea to prevent a coastal lagoon from flooding.

The U.S. National Hurricane Center had earlier issued a hurricane warning for the coastline between Zihuatanejo and Punta Maldonado, and said the storm could bring "life-threatening flash floods and rainfall" to Guerrero and Oaxaca states.

The center said the rapidly weakening Max should become a tropical depression in the coming hours before dissipating early Friday.

Max had maximum sustained winds of 45 mph (70 kph) and was located about 80 miles (130 kilometers) east of Acapulco Thursday night. It was heading toward the east at 7 mph (11 kph), the hurricane center reported.

Acapulco, about 30 miles (60 kilometers) from where the hurricane made landfall, was hit by strong winds and rain that blew down some branches on the city's coastal boulevard.

Also Thursday, Tropical Storm Norma formed farther out to the west in the Pacific and was expected to strengthen and head toward the resort-studded Baja California Peninsula.

Norma was located about 360 miles (580 kilometers) south of the twin resorts of Los Cabos at the peninsula's southern tip.

The storm had winds of 45 mph (75 kph) and was moving north at 6 mph (9 kph). On that track Norma could be at hurricane strength near Los Cabos by Sunday or Monday.

Los Cabos was hit by Tropical Storm Lidia in early September, causing at least five deaths.

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