Hurricane Bud weakens as floods hit western Mexico

Warnings issued as tropical storm conditions threaten Baja California with floods and large surf over the coming days.

    Hurricane Bud weakened rapidly off Mexico's Pacific coast on Tuesday on its way towards the resorts at the southern end of the Baja California Peninsula.

    The US National Hurricane Center said Bud has now been downgraded to a Category 1 storm with maximum sustained winds of 130 kilometres per hour. It is currently located about 460km to the south-southeast of Cabo San Lucas at the peninsula's southern tip.

    Earlier it had just barely crossed the threshold of wind strength to be classified as a Category 4 storm.

    Bud is moving northwest at about 6 km/h and is forecast to approach Baja California Sur late on Thursday evening as a tropical storm.

    "Further weakening, possibly rapid at times, is expected during the next 48 hours, and Bud is forecast to weaken below hurricane intensity by Wednesday night," the centre said.

    The centre said the hurricane still could generate dangerous surf and rip currents over the coming hours, with heavy swells already reaching the peninsula.

    Bud is expected to produce 50 to 75mm of rainfall across much of southwest Mexico through Thursday. Totals could be twice that in one or two places.

    These rains could cause life-threatening flash floods and mudslides.

    Bud is also expected to produce as much as 125mm of rain across southern parts of Baja California Sur and Sonora in northwest Mexico between now and Saturday.

    The twin resort cities of Cabo San Lucas and San Jose del Cabo are popular destinations for international and domestic travellers, receiving millions of tourists every year.

    SOURCE: AP news agency


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