Hurricane Raymond Is Gaining Strength off Mexico's Coast

Image: Hurricane Raymond Is Gaining Strength off Mexico's Coast

Monday, 21 Oct 2013 07:58 AM

By Clyde Hughes

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Hurricane Raymond has become the first major storm this season in the eastern Pacific Ocean, gaining more strength as it grew to Category 3 status within a day off the western coast of Mexico.

The National Weather Service reported that Raymond generated winds of 70 mph. While the National Weather Service is predicting the storm to eventually move west, away from Mexico's coast, its current position is causing heavy rainfall over south-central Mexico through the early portion of the week. The rainfall, predicted to be up to 6 inches, could produce dangerous mudslides and flash floods.

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The Associated Press reported that the country's southern Pacific coast, which is currently affected by Hurricane Raymond, is still reeling from the Tropical Storm Manuel in September, where residents were displaced by heavy flooding and mudslides. 

Some 10,000 people have not been able move back into their homes because of Manuel's devastation. It is not yet known how much additional damage Raymond might bring to the beleaguered area.

The good news is that weather forecasters are predicting a cold front from the north that will eventually take control of Raymond and steer it west, David Korenfeld, head of Mexico's National Water Commission, told the Associated Press.

"The cold front coming down is what makes it (Raymond) turn to the left, but that is a model," Korenfeld said. "If that cold front comes down more slowly, this tropical storm ... can get closer to the coast."

Guerrero state authorities closed seaports Monday in the southern portion of the province and prepped some 700 emergency shelters for residents affected by the storm. Guerrero officials told the Associated Press they might call for evacuations for lower portions of Acapulco soon.

Schools were closed along the coast of Acapulco so the buildings could house evacuees.

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