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On January 1, 2022, Hurricane Agatha heads toward tourist cities in Mexico

MEXICO CITY — The first hurricane of the season formed off Mexico’s southern Pacific coast on Sunday, quickly gaining strength before expected to strike along a stretch of tourist beaches and fishing villages.

Hurricane Agatha could make landfall near major hurricane strength Monday near Puerto Escondido and Puerto Angel in the southern state of Oaxaca — a region that includes the laid-back tourist towns of Huatulco, Mazunte and Zipolite.

Around noon Sunday, the US National Hurricane Center said the recently formed hurricane had maximum sustained winds of 90 mph (150 km/h) and was centered about 195 miles (315 kilometers) west-southwest of Puerto Angel. It was flying north at 4 km/h.

A hurricane warning was in effect between the port of Salina Cruz and the Lagunas de Chacahua.

Civil Defense in Oaxaca said the hurricane’s outer bands had already hit the coast. The bureau released photos of fishermen heaving their boats onto beaches to protect them from the storm.

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Mexico’s government turtle center — a former slaughterhouse turned conservation center in Mazunte — said it was closed to visitors until further notice because of the hurricane.

The Hurricane Center warned of dangerous coastal flooding, as well as large and destructive waves near where Agatha lands and destructive waves.

The storm was expected to bring 10 to 16 inches (250 to 400 millimeters) of rain to parts of Oaxaca state — with isolated highs of 20 inches (500 millimeters) — posing the risk of flash flooding and mudslides.

Because the storm’s current path would carry it across the narrow waist of the Mexican Isthmus, the center said there was a possibility the storm’s remnants could resurface over the Gulf of Mexico.

In northern Guatemala, a woman and her six children died Saturday when a landslide hit their home, but the accident appeared unconnected to Agatha.

Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, transcribed or redistributed without permission.

https://www.local10.com/news/world/2022/05/29/1st-of-2022-hurricane-agatha-heads-for-mexico-tourist-towns/ On January 1, 2022, Hurricane Agatha heads toward tourist cities in Mexico

Sarah Y. Kim

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