Tropical storm Olaf strengthened into a hurricane in the Pacific on Thursday as it churned towards the beach resorts of Los Cabos on Mexico’s Baja California peninsula, meteorologists said.
Olaf was packing maximum winds of 75 miles (120 km) per hour, making it a Category One hurricane, the lowest on the five-level Saffir-Simpson scale, the US National Hurricane Center (NHC) said.
At 1500 GMT the storm was located about 155 miles southeast of the seaside resort of Cabo San Lucas and moving northwest at seven mph, it reported.
A hurricane warning was in effect for a stretch of Baja California coastline from Los Barriles to Santa Fe, the NHC said.
The storm was expected to move near or over the southern part of the peninsula on Thursday night and on Friday, forecasters said.
“Additional strengthening is likely before Olaf nears the southern coast of the Baja California peninsula tonight. Weakening is likely on Friday and through the weekend,” the NHC said.
A dangerous storm surge was expected to be accompanied by large and damaging waves near the coast, it added, warning that heavy rainfall may trigger flash flooding and mudslides.
Ports were closed in the resorts of Cabo San Lucas and San Jose del Cabo, the Baja California civil defense department said.
Last month Hurricane Grace left 11 people dead after hitting eastern Mexico as a Category 3 storm.