Odile threatens US-Mexico border with flood, mudslides

The remnants of Hurricane Odile threatened to spark floods and mudslides on the US-Mexico border Wednesday after devastating beach resorts and leaving thousands of tourists stranded in the Baja California peninsula.

Mexico City: The remnants of Hurricane Odile threatened to spark floods and mudslides on the US-Mexico border Wednesday after devastating beach resorts and leaving thousands of tourists stranded in the Baja California peninsula.

The storm thrashed the Mexican coast as a powerful category three hurricane on the five-level Saffir-Simpson scale late Sunday and Monday, flooding hotels, flattening homes and sparking acts of looting, though no deaths were reported.

After churning over the narrow Gulf of California as a tropical storm on Wednesday, Odile dissipated over the state of Sonora, with winds of 45 kilometers (30 miles) per hour, according to the US National Hurricane Center.

But the center warned that Sonora and the US southwestern border states of New Mexico and Arizona would likely be hit by life-threatening flash floods and mudslides.

The city of Phoenix, Arizona, opened an emergency operations center and offered sandbags to residents to protect homes from flooding. People in New Mexico also sandbagged their properties.

As Odile made its way north, Mexican authorities continued to airlift tourists who were marooned in Los Cabos.

Around 5,000 tourists have been flown out of Baja`s Los Cabos and La Paz airports since Tuesday, a tourism ministry spokesman told AFP.

The spokesman said it would take another 48 hours to move all the 25,000 tourists who were still stranded after their hotels were wrecked by the hurricane.

Classes were suspended in Sonora and some 60 people were evacuated from a fishing village.

More trouble beckoned for Mexico as Tropical Storm Polo moved parallel to the southwestern coast and was nearly a hurricane, with winds of 110 kilometers (70 miles) per hour, the US forecasters said.

Swirling some 265 kilometers (165 miles) southwest of the Zihuatanejo resort town, the storm`s outer rain bands were soaking the coast, which was devastated by a deadly hurricane last year.