Thousands evacuated as hurricane strikes Baja
Hurricane Odile uprooted trees and shook buildings as it bore down on Mexico’s tourist haven of Baja California on Sunday, prompting the evacuation of thousands from the path of one of the worst recorded storms to slam the region’s luxury resorts.
Powerful winds around the eye of the storm were projected to rake the hotels of Los Cabos late Sunday and into Monday, pounding the south of the mountainous desert peninsula with huge waves and heavy rains that could unleash dangerous flash floods.Winds up to 125 miles per hour (205 kph) ripped trees out by their roots and blew signposts out of the ground, according to a Reuters witness.At least 26,000 foreign tourists and 4,000 Mexicans were in the region, according to Mexican officials, while emergency workers and military personal evacuated people from areas at risk of flooding.
Odile lost some strength on Sunday afternoon but it was expected to cross the southern tip of the peninsula as a Category 3 storm late Sunday and early Monday before starting to weaken, the U.S. National Hurricane Center said.
Storm experts said it was set to be the strongest hurricane to hit the southern tip of the peninsula since Kiko in 1989, which landed as a Category 3 hurricane.
‘We haven’t seen one get so close and with the possibility of impact, and of such a nature. There aren’t words for this.’ said Wenceslao Petit, head of emergency services in Los Cabos.