MEXICO CITY (AFP) – Hurricane Polo formed off Mexico’s southwestern coast late Wednesday, threatening to spark floods and mudslides days after another storm wreaked havoc in popular resorts further north.
Polo was cruising parallel to the coast but was expected to bring tropical storm conditions over some Pacific states, according to the US National Hurricane Center.
Its maximum sustained winds reached 120 kilometres (75 miles) per hour, while Mexican forecasters warned that it would produce heavy rains in the states of Jalisco, Colima, Michoacan and Guerrero.
The new hurricane, which was 290 kilometres (180 miles) south of the port of Manzanillo, came almost exactly one year after twin tropical storms battered Mexico on both coasts, killing 157 people, the majority in Guerrero.
Authorities planned to evacuate scores of people in Guerrero’s Playa Azul while 153 shelters were opened in Michoacan.
In its current track, Polo would just miss the Baja California peninsula, whose Los Cabos resorts were devastated by Hurricane Odile on Monday. Odile thrashed the Mexican coast as a powerful category three hurricane on the five-level Saffir-Simpson scale, flooding hotels, flattening homes and sparking acts of looting, though no deaths were reported.
The government airlifted 5,000 tourists who were marooned in towns deprived of electricity and running water, while residents desperately sought aid and basic goods in supermarkets.