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    Hurricane lashes Bermuda as new storm aims at Mexico resorts

    MIAMI (AP) — Hurricane Humberto rushed past Bermuda, lashing the British Atlantic territory with powerful winds for hours before beginning to move away early yesterday, as new Hurricane Lorena swirled in the Pacific posing a threat to resorts on Mexico’s southwestern coast.

    The fast-moving Category 3 Humberto began bashing Bermuda with hurricane-strength winds on Wednesday afternoon and passed to within about 130 kilometres of the island in the United States (US) during the night before heading out into the Atlantic.

    Bermuda Governor John Rankin had 120 soldiers of the Royal Bermuda Regiment on alert for possible recovery efforts, and officials had warned the 70,000 residents to stay sheltered until the winds subsided. Schools, clinics and government offices closed down as the storm approached.

    The US National Hurricane Center said maximum sustained winds were still at 195kph late Wednesday. The storm was centred about 205 kilometres north-northeast of Bermuda and moving to the east-northeast at a brisk 37kph.

    National Security Minister Wayne Caines said non-emergency medical services were closed until yesterday.

    “We can get through this,” Caines said before the storm hit. “We’ve been through this before.”

    In the Pacific off Mexico, newly formed Hurricane Lorena was predicted to “near or over the southwestern coast” somewhere between the port of Manzanillo and Puerto Vallarta from Wednesday night into yesterday night.

    The still-uncertain long-term forecast track showed the storm possibly approaching the Los Cabos resort area at the southern end of the Baja California Peninsula today and tomorrow.

    Lorena had maximum sustained winds of 120kph on Wednesday night. It was centred about 55 kilometres southwest of Manzanillo and moving to the northwest at 19kph.

    Hurricane warnings were in effect from Punta San Telmo to Cabo Corrientes.

    Heavy rains were spreading onshore along the coast, the Hurricane Center said. Mexican officials voiced concern that some parts of southern Mexico, which have seen a lack of rainfall, could now get torrential rains that could result in dangerous flash floods and landslides.

    In parts of Colima, Jalisco and Michoacan states, “it is forecasted that the total accumulations of rain could… represent 40 per cent of the rain for an entire year in that part of the country,” said Director-General of Mexico’s National Water Commission Blanca Jiménez Cisneros.

    Classes were suspended in Colima as a precaution.

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