Hurricane Norbert forces cruise to change course

Hurricane Norbert swirled off Mexico`s tourist-friendly Pacific coast on Thursday, causing downpours that forced authorities to cut power, close schools and change a cruise ship`s route.

La Paz: Hurricane Norbert swirled off Mexico`s tourist-friendly Pacific coast on Thursday, causing downpours that forced authorities to cut power, close schools and change a cruise ship`s route.

US Air Force hurricane hunters reported that Norbert was a little stronger, blowing maximum sustained winds of 150 kilometers (90) miles per hour, according to the US National Hurricane Center.

The category one storm was moving toward the northwest, 245 kilometers (150 miles) southwest of the tip of Baja California peninsula, renowned for its Los Cabos beach resorts.

The captain of Los Cabos port, Vicente Martinez, said the cruise ship was ordered to head to Puerto Vallarta, a beach city in the western state of Jalisco.

"The cruise, with more than 3,000 people (aboard), left San Francisco and was going to dock in Cabo San Lucas, but it continued to Puerto Vallarta due to the bad weather," Martinez said.

Officials said schools were closed as a precaution, while power was cut to 20,000 people in high-risk areas.