Pamela expected to blast into Mexico as hurricane

MEXICO CITY (AFP) – Tropical Storm Pamela is expected to slam into the western coast of Mexico as a major hurricane possibly bringing life-threatening surges and dangerous winds as it makes landfall, the United States (US) National Hurricane Center (NHC) warned.

Overnight, Pamela was forecast to pass near the southern tip of the Baja California peninsula before accelerating towards the Pacific port city Mazatlan.

“Pamela is forecast to be a major hurricane when it reaches the coast of west-central mainland Mexico,” the NHC said, advising residents to “monitor the progress of this system and ensure they have their hurricane plan in place”.

The storm was roughly 130 kilometres west-southwest from Mazatlan at 0900 GMT on Tuesday, the NHC said, and moving northeast at about 14 miles per hour with maximum sustained winds of 75mph.

The Miami-based centre said heavy rainfall may trigger flash flooding and mudslides as Pamela tracks into the Mexican states Sinaloa, Durango and Nayarit.

Storm surges are expected to produce “significant” coastal flooding and “large and destructive waves”, the centre added.

The remnants of Pamela could drench portions of Texas and Oklahoma with the potential for “considerable flash and urban flooding impacts”.

Because of its location, Mexico is often hit by tropical storms and hurricanes on both its Pacific and Atlantic coasts.

People surf at Pinitos beach prior to landfall of tropical storm Pamela in Mazatlan, Mexico. PHOTO: AP