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North-moving Nora lashes Baja's southern tip

September 23, 1997
Web posted at: 8:25 a.m. EDT (0825 GMT)

CABO SAN LUCAS, Mexico (CNN) -- Hurricane Nora was battering Pacific coast resort towns on the southern tip of Mexico's Baja California Peninsula on Tuesday with heavy rain and high waves.

Forecasters did not expect the hurricane's eye to hit Cabo San Lucas, "but we are expecting the storm to come further up the Baja Peninsula," said Richard Pasch at the (U.S.) National Hurricane Center in Miami.

At 5 a.m. EDT (2 a.m. PDT), the center of the hurricane was located about 280 miles (450 km) southwest of Cabo San Lucas.

It was moving northwest near 9 mph (14 kilometers per hour). Maximum sustained winds have decreased to near 110 mph (175 km/hr) with higher gusts.

Hurricane force winds extend outward up to 85 miles (140 km) from the center. Tropical storm force winds extend outward up to 200 miles (325 km).

A tropical storm warning was in effect for the lower third of the 800-mile long (1,280 km) peninsula. A hurricane watch was posted for the middle third.

A hurricane warning in effect for Socorro Island and the nearby Revillagigedo Islands -- about 300 miles (480 kilometers) south of Baja's southern tip -- was likely to be lowered later in the day as Nora moves northward, forecasters said.

Forecasters expect the eye of the storm to hit somewhere on the upper half of the peninsula late Wednesday or early Thursday. They say Nora eventually could bring heavy rainfall to the U.S. southwest, primarily east of California.

As Hurricane Nora bore down on Cabo San Lucas, merchants protected storefront glass with duct tape and tried to sweep muddy water from their businesses. The main street was a knee-deep river.

Many disappointed tourists are packing up and heading home.

It's the second hurricane this month to menace the peninsula. Earlier in its path, Nora destroyed dozens of beachfront homes and forced major ports to close as it skirted mainland Mexico to the southeast.

It has not caused any deaths.

 
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