Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Hurricane Jova bears down on Mexican Pacific coast

Mica Rosenberg in Reuters: Hurricane Jova bore down on the Pacific coast of Mexico on Tuesday threatening to pound one of the country's busiest cargo ports and tourist resorts with destructive waves, heavy rainfall and flooding.

The Category 3 storm, with top winds reaching 115 miles per hour, was about 150 miles southwest of the port city of Manzanillo at 5 a.m. EDT/(0900 GMT), the U.S. National Hurricane Center said.

The Miami-based hurricane center said some fluctuations were possible in the storm's strength but they expected Jova to slam into the Mexican coast as a major hurricane. Jova will make landfall on Tuesday afternoon or evening to the northwest of Manzanillo near the resort towns of Melaque and Barra de Navidad, on a stretch of coast dotted with beaches south of Puerto Vallarta.

"We expect it to be really strong," said Irma Joya, owner of a souvenir shop on the main boardwalk in Puerto Vallarta, a popular tourist destination where residents braced for waves up to 13 feet high. "We have experience with hurricanes so there is a culture of prevention here," she said as she boarded up her shop with wooden planks on Monday evening.

Authorities planned to evacuate low-lying areas.

Hurricane Jova on October 8, 2011, shot by NASA

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