First of 2022, Hurricane Agatha heads for Mexico tourist towns
MEXICO CITY (AP):
The first hurricane of the season formed off Mexico’s southern Pacific coast on Sunday and rapidly gained power ahead of an expected strike along a stretch of tourist beaches and fishing towns.
Hurricane Agatha could make landfall at close to major hurricane force on Monday in the area near Puerto Escondido and Puerto Angel in the southern state of Oaxaca – a region that includes the laid-back tourist resorts of Huatulco, Mazunte and Zipolite.
Around midday on Sunday, the US National Hurricane Center said the recently formed hurricane had maximum sustained winds of 90mph (150kph) and it was centred about 195 miles (315 kilometres) west-southwest of Puerto Angel. It was heading to the north at 2mph (4kph).
A hurricane warning was in effect between the port of Salina Cruz and the Lagunas de Chacahua.
The civil defence office in Oaxaca said the hurricane’s outer bands were already hitting the coast. The office published photos of fishermen hauling their boats up on beaches to protect them from the storm.
The government’s Mexican Turtle Center – a former slaughterhouse-turned-conservation centre in Mazunte – announced it was closed to visitors until further notice because of the hurricane.