Hurricane Raymond stays at sea
on 23/10/2013 09:43:51
In the inland mountains, officials had moved hundreds of residents out of El Paraiso and planned to completely empty the village of 7,000 people because of fears of landslides, said Guerrero state's deputy secretary of civil protection, Constantino Gonzalez.
Two hills still soaked from a storm last month loom over the village and authorities feared they could give way.
Raymond's centre was about 100 miles south of the beach resort of Zihuatanejo, more or less where the storm had sat for a day, the US National Hurricane Centre said. After spending much of Monday as a powerful Category 3 storm, Raymond was barely a hurricane with maximum sustained winds of 75mph.
Forecasters said it should weaken to a tropical storm later and begin moving slowly westward farther out to sea.
While the coast was spared damaging torrential rains like those inflicted by Tropical Storm Manuel last month, authorities in Guerrero state took no chances following widespread criticism of their preparations for the earlier storm. They moved hundreds of people from isolated mountain communities and low-lying shore areas, and more than 1,500 soldiers were sent into the area.
Schools in coastal communities were kept closed.
Forecasters warned that Raymond's rains still had the potential to cause dangerous floods and mudslides in the region, which is reeling from millions of pounds of damage and about 120 deaths caused by Manuel. A tropical storm warning was in effect from Acapulco to Lazaro Cardenas.
Government workers reinforced some roads with sand bags, but rains left streets in low-lying parts of Acapulco and other areas under water.
Some flooding also swirled into homes wrecked by Manuel. About 10,000 people in Guerrero are still homeless a month after Manuel inundated whole neighbourhoods and caused devastating landslides, including one that buried much of one village.
In the Atlantic, Tropical Storm Lorenzo strengthened far out to sea but posed no threat to land. Lorenzo's maximum sustained winds were over 50mph with little change in strength forecast. The storm was centred about 895 miles east of Bermuda and was moving east.