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Hurricane Raymond weakens off Mexico coast

AFP | Last Updated: Wednesday, October 23, 2013 - 08:57

Zihuatanejo (Mexico): Hurricane Raymond weakened and crawled near Mexico`s Pacific coast on Tuesday after authorities urged tourists to stay indoors and evacuated some residents to prevent a new disaster in the storm-battered region.

Some 1,500 people left their homes in the states of Guerrero and Michoacan, schools closed and beach plans were upended for tourists seeking sun in the resorts of Zihuatanejo and Acapulco.

After stalling off the coast for several hours, Raymond began to drift southeast and could still move closer to the coast, threatening to dump heavy rain on the soaked region, the US National Hurricane Center said.

But the storm gradually weakened from Category Three to Category One on the five-level Saffir-Simpson scale, with top winds slowing to 150 kilometres per hour.

Creeping at six kilometres per hour, Raymond was expected to veer west-southwest out to sea and away from land tomorrow, the US forecasters said.

At 2330 IST, the hurricane was 155 kilometres south of the resort of Zihuatanejo, a little further than earlier, but it got slightly closer to Acapulco, 215 kilometres from its coast.

The Mexican National Water Commission urged the public to keep following government alerts despite the storm`s weakening since it was still producing rain in much of the country.

Mexico is still reeling from floods and landslides unleashed by tropical storms Manuel and Ingrid last month, which left 157 people dead.

Hurricane Raymond flooded some streets in Acapulco, one month after Manuel trapped thousands of tourists in the popular vacation spot. Further west in Zihuatanejo, the tourists who made it to the coastal town were asked to stay in their hotels.

First Published: Wednesday, October 23, 2013 - 08:57
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