Hurricane Newton has battered into Mexico’s Los Cabos resort

September 6, 2016 8:56 pm

This NASA-NOAA GOES West satellite photo taken on September 5, 2016, shows tropical storm Newton off the western coast of . (AFP)

Newton has battered Mexico’s northwestern resort of , tearing down trees and blowing away tin roofs, officials say.
The powerful storm packed 145 kilometer-per-hour winds and caused landfall before dawn on Tuesday at the southern tip of the Baja California peninsula.
Local airports closed late Monday while small boats were barred from using the ports. Schools were also shut down in the affected region.
There were no immediate reports of injuries.
Locals put tape on shop windows as the hurricane approached north of Los Cabos in La Paz, the capital of Baja California Sur.
Los Cabos civil protection director Marco Antonio Vazquez told AFP that authorities were still assessing the possible damage.
“The winds are very strong,” Vazquez said, adding, “For now the damage includes a lot of branches, a lot of fallen plants, many trees.”
The official said he also saw telephone cables as well as tin roofs from poorer neighborhoods on the streets.
Vazquez confirmed that authorities opened shelters with capacity for 16,000 people across the state. Some 1,500 people took refuge in shelters in Los Cabos, he added.
The hurricane also knocked out power in some places as stranded tourists huddled in their hotels.
About 14,000 tourists are in Los Cabos and some 1,000 elsewhere in the worst-hit region.

Boats wait to be taken out of the water as they prepare for the arrival of Hurricane Newton in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, September 5, 2016. (AP)

In a message posted on Twitter, Mexico’s National Coordinator for Civil Protection Luis Felipe Puente urged “the population not to leave their homes if it is not necessary.”
The US National Hurricane Center also confirmed that Newton was “battering Baja California Sur (state) with strong winds and heavy rains.”
According to the US center, the hurricane is expected to gradually weaken over the next 24 hours.
“We didn’t expect Newton to enter the national territory. We didn’t expect it to become a hurricane,” Roberto Ramirez, director of the National Water Commission, said, adding, “It has had very erratic behavior since it emerged on Friday as a (weather) disturbance.” 
Mexican authorities said Newton threatened to cause more mudslides and flooding in eight states along the Pacific coast.
The weather system caused damage in the country’s south over the weekend before it became a tropical storm. Heavy rain killed at least three people in the southern state of Chiapas.
Mexico’s civil protection authorities said that torrential rain that began on September 3 flooded some 1,400 homes and caused over 30 landslides on highways in the southwestern state of Guerrero.
In September 2014, Los Cabos, famed for its beaches, was pummeled by Hurricane Odile, which left six people dead and caused USD 1 billion in damage.
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