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Storm Lidia hits Mexico’s Baja peninsula with heavy rain, wind

Image: People stand next to swaying palm trees following the passing of Tropical Storm Lidia in Los Cabos, Mexico, August 31, 2017. REUTERS/Fernando Castillo

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MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – Tropical Storm Lidia lashed the southern tip of Mexico’s Baja California peninsula with heavy rain and high winds as it barreled through the popular tourist resorts of Los Cabos on Thursday evening, authorities said.

Late on Thursday, Lidia was about 40 miles (64 km) northwest of Cabo San Lucas, blowing maximum sustained winds of 65 mph (105 kph), and moving north-northwest, the Miami-based U.S. National Hurricane Center (NHC) said.

Lidia is not projected to reach hurricane strength, but authorities in the state of Baja California Sur suspended classes and flights until conditions were deemed safe again.

Shelters in the state designed to accommodate hundreds of people were also opened, the state government said.

Lidia is expected to remain a tropical storm during the next day or so, though gradual weakening is forecast, the NHC said.

The storm is expected to produce total rainfall of 6 to 12 inches across the Mexican states of Baja California Sur, Baja California, Sinaloa and the coastal section of Sonora, with isolated maximum amounts of 20 inches, the center said.

A hurricane watch was in effect for part of Baja California Sur, from Puerto Cortes to east of La Paz, and Lidia was expected to bring a dangerous storm surge to coasts. Rains could cause flash floods, the NHC warned.

Tropical storm warnings were also still in effect along much of the peninsula.

(Reporting by Michael O’Boyle; Editing by Bill Trott and Simon Cameron-Moore)

Copyright 2017 Thomson Reuters. Click for Restrictions.

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