Hurricane Norbert gains power off Mexico coast

Hurricane Norbert picked up strength as it swirled off Mexico`s Pacific coast Friday, dumping heavy rain that forced 1,000 people to evacuate to shelters and government offices to close.

La Paz: Hurricane Norbert picked up strength as it swirled off Mexico`s Pacific coast Friday, dumping heavy rain that forced 1,000 people to evacuate to shelters and government offices to close.

Norbert grew into a category two hurricane on the five-level Saffir-Simpson scale, packing maximum sustained winds of 155 kilometers (100 miles) per hour off the tourist-friendly Baja California Peninsula, US and Mexican weather services said.

The hurricane was located 300 kilometers west of the Cabo San Lucas resort at 0015 GMT, moving northwest at 13 kilometers per hour, according to Mexico`s National Weather Service.

Carlos Enrique Rincon, the head of civil protection in Baja California Sur state, said more than 1,000 people who live in high-risk areas were taken to temporary shelters.

Cabo San Lucas Mayor Jose Antonio Agundez Montano said several rural communities lacked power or drinking water and that authorities were unable to communicate with them. 

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