Hurricane Pamela intensifies as it barrels towards a Mexican bread basket

Monterrey, Mexico-Hurricane Pamela gained strength towards the west coast of Mexico on Tuesday, and the National Hurricane Center (NHC) predicted that it would strengthen further before colliding with a fertile farm in Sinaloa.

Sinaloa is the country’s leading producer of corn, Mexico’s main grain, and a major producer of tomatoes and other fruits that stand out in agricultural exports to the United States.

The Category 1 hurricane was located approximately 280 miles (450 km) south of Mazatlan, Sinaloa’s main beach resort, according to the latest NHC Advisory.

According to the NHC, Pamela packed maximum sustained winds at 80 mph (130 kph) early Tuesday morning, and the center was “steady to rapid” before reaching land with near major hurricane strength early Wednesday morning. Predicted “strengthening”.

Pamela is expected to flood Sinaloa. Sinaloa has been hit by dry weather in recent months, which could hurt agricultural production.

Tropical cyclone surveillance extends from the fishing village of Los Bariles on the Cortez Sea side of the Baja Peninsula in Mexico to the southern tip of Cabo San Lucas.

However, Pamela’s anger is seen primarily on the southwestern mainland of Mexico, 4-12 inches (10-30 inches), hitting both the “big and destructive waves” near the coast and both Sinaloa and the adjacent Durango. cm) of rainfall can be seen.

The hurricane was moving north at about 13 mph (21 km / h) at the beginning of Tuesday.

“This rainfall can cause serious and life-threatening flash floods and landslides,” NHC added.

Last year, more than 380,000 tonnes of tomatoes were produced in Sinaloa alone, according to government data. This is about one-fifth of the country’s production and is destined to be overwhelmingly exported.

Laura Gottes Diener and David Arile Garcia