"Olaf" Leaves Cars Stranded in Baja California Sur

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Authorities closed ports and schools in the area.

Hurricane "Olaf" hit the resorts of Los Cabos, at the tip of Mexico's Baja California peninsula, the day before, although it lost strength in the last hours and was downgraded to category 1. However, on Friday its cloud bands drenched the region with torrential rains as emergency workers evacuated people from flood-prone areas. The eye of the meteor made landfall near San Jose del Cabo on Thursday as a Category 2 hurricane, with winds of 155km/h (100mph), according to the U.S. National Hurricane Center. As the storm made landfall on the Baja California Sur coast, some motorists were stranded inside their cars due to high tide, but the Cabo San Lucas Fire Department reported only downed power lines and trees. Authorities closed ports and schools in the area, suspended vaccinations against covid-19, and asked many non-essential workers to stay home.

Businesses boarded up windows and people lined up for last-minute grocery shopping ahead of the storm. Intense rains and high waves are expected for Baja California Sur, and showers for Sinaloa and Nayarit, as well as strong wind gusts. The National Water Commission forecasts a swell of 5 to 7 meters on the west coast of Baja California, 100 to 120 km/h, and 2 to 4 meters in the central and southern Gulf of California, 60 to 70 km/h. On Friday morning the hurricane's vortex was located about 55 kilometers (35 miles) west-southwest of La Paz, the state capital. The storm was downgraded to a tropical storm on Friday, according to the National Water Commission (Conagua). The storm was over the coastline of Baja California Sur, approximately 100 kilometers west of La Paz at 10:00 a.m., the agency said. Olaf has maximum sustained winds of 100 kilometers per hour, gusts of 140 km/h, and is moving northwest at 17 km/hour, informed Conagua.

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