Hurricane Olaf scrapes across Mexico’s Los Cabos resorts

Hurricane Olaf scraped across the southern tip of Mexico’s Baja California peninsula and spun back into the Pacific bringing heavy rain and strong winds to the twin resorts of Los Cabos.

Authorities worked to move residents from low-lying areas to shelters while tourists hunkered down in their hotels.

The ports of Cabo San Lucas and San Jose del Cabo closed Thursday to vessel traffic as tourism operators moved boats at Cabo San Lucas to safer moorings. Businesses boarded up windows and people lined up for last-minute purchases in supermarkets.

The resorts would normally be full of tourists this time of year, but with the COVID-19 pandemic, hotels were well below that.

Lilzi Orcí, president of the Los Cabos Hotels Association, said 37 domestic and international airline flights had already been cancelled due to the hurricane. She estimated 20,000 foreign tourists were in the area, less than 40% of the hotels’ capacity. Guests would shelter in their hotels, she said.

As rain fell, authorities patrolled through flood-prone working class neighborhoods urging residents to move to shelters.

The hurricane was centered about 20 miles (35 kilometers) east-northeast of Cabo San Lucas late Thursday night with maximum sustained winds of 100 mph (155 kph). It was advancing to the north-northwest at 12 mph (19 kph).

The U.S. National Hurricane Center forecast 5 to 10 inches (12.7 to 25.4 centimeters) of rain on the southern part of the peninsula, with up to 15 inches (38 centimeters) in isolated spots, creating the danger of flash floods and mudslides.

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