MEXICO CITY—Hurricane Orlean escalated to Category 3 intensity on Sunday as it headed toward Mexico’s northwestern Pacific coast between the tourist destinations of Mazatlan and San Blas.
After escalating into a hurricane on Saturday, Orlean quickly gained strength, hitting a maximum sustained wind speed of 125 mph (205 kmph) on Sunday, according to the US National Hurricane Center (NHC). This was just below the Category 4 peak of 130 mph (215 km/h) earlier in the day.
The storm will blow past Islas Marias, a former prison colony developed as a tourist attraction, by the end of Sunday or early Monday and onto the sparsely populated, lagoon-dotted mainland by the end of Monday. was predicted to come.
Orlean is about 95 miles (155 kilometers) southwest of Cape Corrientes, a point that juts into the Pacific Ocean just south of Puerto Vallarta, heading north early Sunday morning at 8 miles per hour (13 kilometers per hour). rice field.
A hurricane warning has been issued for San Blas to Mazatlan.
The center said the storm was likely to intensify on Sunday and begin to weaken as it neared land. However, it was still predicted to hit as a hurricane.
Flood-inducing rainfall of up to 10 inches (25 cm) can occur in some locations, causing coastal flooding and dangerous waves.
Puerto Vallarta closed its ports to ships and boats on Saturday as a precautionary measure.
Mexico’s National Water Commission said Orlean could cause “landslides, rising water levels in rivers and streams, and flooding in low-lying areas.”
The Hurricane Center described Aureen as a small storm. Hurricane winds can extend up to about 15 miles (30 kilometers) from the center, while tropical storm winds can extend up to 70 miles (110 kilometers).