Weather

Hurricane Lashes Mexico’s Baja, New Storms Form In Atlantic

Both new tropical depressions could be on tracks toward the United States.

Tropical Depression 14 was forecast to graze the Atlantic coast of Honduras, then curve across Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula and potentially head for Texas or Louisiana coast as a tropical storm by next week, though the track and force that far out remained highly uncertain.

Two new tropical depressions formed in the Atlantic Basin Thursday — both on potential tracks toward the United States — while Hurricane Genevieve weakened to a tropical storm.

Tropical Depression 14 was forecast to graze the Atlantic coast of Honduras, then curve across Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula and potentially head for Texas or Louisiana coast as a tropical storm by next week, though the track and force that far out remained highly uncertain, the U.S. National Hurricane Center said.

On Thursday, it was centered about 210 miles east of Cabo Gracias a Dios on the Honduras-Nicaragua border, with maximum sustained winds of 35 mph. It was headed west at 18 mph.

The Hurricane Center said Tropical Depression 13 was likely to become a tropical storm later Thursday and then skirt the Leeward Islands, Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic and Cuba. The early, still uncertain track showed it potentially reaching Florida by Monday as a hurricane.

On Thursday, it was centered about 700 miles east of the northern Leeward Islands with maximum sustained winds of 35 mph and it was headed briskly to the west-northwest at 21 mph.

Meanwhile, Hurricane Genevieve weakened to a tropical storm on Thursday after lashing Mexico’s Los Cabos tourist resorts with hurricane-force gusts and heavy rains

Genevieve had a been a powerful Category 4 hurricane with winds of 130 mph on Tuesday, but weakened as it pushed past the Los Cabos region, the Hurricane Center said.

The center said the hurricane was expected to stay out in the Pacific while moving northwestward along the Baja coast and weakening Thursday and Friday. But it was raking the shore with powerful winds and up to 4 to 8 inches of rain, creating the potential for dangerous flooding.

High surf had already claimed two lives in the area. Police in Cabo San Lucas said a 15-year-old girl was trapped by a large wave and an adult tried to save her Tuesday. Both died.

The hurricane center said Genevieve had maximum sustained winds of 70 mph at midday Thursday and it was centered about 145 miles west-northwest of the southern tip of the Baja peninsula. It was moving to the northwest at 12 mph.

The storm knocked out power and phone service to a large part of the Los Cabos area, flooded streets in poor neighborhoods and toppled palms in the tourist zone. Los Cabos Mayor Armida Castro said more than 800 people had gone to shelters in Cabo San Lucas and another 250 in San Jose del Cabo, where distancing measures were in place due to COVID-19.

During the early morning hours the fire department received multiple calls to rescue people from cars surrounded by floodwaters and from inundated homes.

Baja California Sur state officials said 15,000 foreign tourists were in the state, most in the Los Cabos region, which earlier had almost been emptied of visitors by pandemic restrictions.

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IGNACIO MARTÍNEZ DE JESÚS, Associated Press