MEXICO CITY – Tropical storm Lorena turned into a category 1 hurricane off Mexico’s Pacific coast on Wednesday, according to the National Weather Service (NWS).
Lorena was located at a distance of 55 km (34 miles) southwest of Manzanillo in the western Mexican state of Colima, and 215 km south-southeast of Cabo Corrientes, Jalisco, the weather service said in its report at 10:15 pm local time (0315 GMT Thursday).
The storm was moving at 19 km per hour in the northwesterly direction with maximum winds of 120 km/h and gusts of up to 150 km/h.
Lorena is expected to cause heavy rainfall in the states of Jalisco, Colima, Michoacan, and Guerrero, as well as in Nayarit, and could cause landslides and floods in low-lying areas in the region, the NWS said.
Jalisco state authorities decided to suspend classes at all levels in 29 municipalities in the region near the coast and close the Nevado de Colima National Park for visitor and employee safety.
The Mexican Navy has been on alert in the region and has taken measures to mitigate damages that could be caused by the hurricane.
The ministry of national defense launched preventive measures in the states of Colima, Michoacan, and Guerrero, and mobilized its staff to make preparations and move people in the most vulnerable areas to shelters.
Besides Lorena, tropical storm Mario has been active in the Pacific near Mexico and was located 870 km southwest of Cabo San Lucas, in the state of Baja California Sur, while Kiko has already weakened without affecting the country.
Since May, hurricanes Alvin, Barbara, Dalila, Erick, Flossie, Juliette and Kiko have been formed off the Mexican coast in the Pacific, along with the tropical storms Cosme, Gil, Henriette and Ivo.