MEXICOCITY – Hurricane Olaf is forecast to remain a hurricane while it moves along the southwestern coast of Mexico’s Baja California Sur on Friday, although its maximum sustained winds have decreased to near 80 mph (130 km/h), the U.S.-based National Hurricane Center (NHC) said.
Olaf’s winds have died down from a maximum of 100 mph (155 kph) when it hit land near San Jose del Cabo at 10:00 p.m. on Thursday night.
The Miami-based NHC said the center of Olaf was located some 35 miles (55 kilometers) west-southwest of La Paz, Mexico, and was moving northwest at 10 mph (17 km/h) at 1200 GMT.
Olaf is forecast to produce total rainfall of 5 to 10 inches, with maximums of 15 inches across parts of southern Baja California Sur on Friday, which may trigger “significant and life-threatening” flash flooding and mudslides.
The NHC said that Olaf is expected to weaken to a tropical storm by Friday night, when it begins to move away from land and then degenerate to a post-tropical cyclone by Saturday night.
Authorities late on Thursday had reported fallen trees and power outages in Los Cabos. Shelters were opened for some evacuations in vulnerable areas.
There are no oil installations on Mexico’s Pacific coast but there are tourism destinations.