MEXICO CITY – Hurricane Lorena with an erratic trajectory was on Friday coasting along northwestern Mexico, prompting new warnings in coastal areas lashed by heavy rains due to the approaching storm.
After touching the southern part of the Baja California peninsula near Cabo Pulmo, the eye of the category 1 hurricane veered off the coast, keeping close to the shore in the Gulf of California, according to Jorge Zavala, general coordinator of the National Meteorological Service.
“Its trajectory has been increasingly erratic and uncertain and kept changing. The latest projections show that it would pass along the Baja California peninsula,” Zavala told EFE.
However, he said the possibility that the hurricane staying in the Gulf of California and moving towards the state of Sonora could not be ruled out.
Zavala said currently the main concerns were centered on Lorena’s effects on small towns on the eastern coast of Baja California, “especially the city of La Paz, which has a sizable population.”
The meteorologist said despite the hurricane being category 1, it could cause damage due to very heavy rainfall, which could lead to flooding and overflowing of rivers, apart from high waves and seawater entering coastal regions.
“It is very important that people stay away from streams, and do not try to cross roads overflowing with rainwater on foot or by car. Stay away from places likely to be flooded,” Zavala warned.
According to the NMS report issued at 10:15 pm, Lorena was situated 65 kilometers (40 miles) east-southeast of La Paz, Baja California Sur and advancing in the north-northwesterly direction at a speed of 13 kilometers per hour, generating sustained winds of 130 km/h and gusts of up to 150 km/h.
The NMS has established a monitoring zone for effects of the hurricane in coastal parts of Baja California Sur and issued a warning for torrential rainfall in many districts of the region apart from predicting wind gusts of up to 80 km/h and waves up to 3-5 meters (10-16 feet) on the coast.
Lorena formed on Sept. 17 and has since progressed erratically.
After first advancing as a tropical storm along the western coast of Mexico, it made landfall on Thursday as a category 1 hurricane in Jalisco, where it caused heavy rains and flooding, forcing some people to evacuate.
After temporarily reducing in strength to a tropical storm, it intensified to category 1 hurricane again on Friday.
With Lorena and a tropical storm of Mario – which is far from the Mexican territory – 13 of the total 19 storms predicted by the NMS for the current season in the Pacific have already occurred.