CABO SAN LUCAS, Mexico (AP) — Hurricane Genevieve weakened to a tropical storm Thursday after lashing Mexico’s Los Cabos tourist resorts with hurricane-force gusts and heavy rains. And two new tropical depressions formed in the Atlantic Basin — both on potential tracks toward the United States.
Genevieve had a been a powerful Category 4 hurricane with winds of 130 mph (215 kph) on Tuesday, but weakened as it pushed past the Los Cabos region, the U.S. National 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 (10 to 20 centimeters) 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-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 (115 kph) Thursday afternoon and it was centered about 175 miles (280 kilometers) west-northwest of the southern tip of the Baja peninsula. It was moving to the northwest at 12 mph (19 kph).
The storm knocked out power and phone service to a large part of the Los Cabos area, flooded 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.
Meanwhile, two new tropical depressions formed Thursday in the Atlantic Basin, and tropical storm watches were posted for several Caribbean islands and parts of Honduras.
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 (1,120 kilometers) east of the northern Leeward Islands with maximum sustained winds of 35 mph (55 kph) and it was headed briskly to the west-northwest at 21 mph (33 kph).
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.
On Thursday, it was centered about 210 miles (375 kilometers) east of Cabo Gracias a Dios on the Honduras-Nicaragua border, with maximum sustained winds of 35 mph (55 kph). It was headed west at 18 mph (30 kph).
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