ACAPULCO, Mexico (AP) — Officials ordered schools closed Monday and readied shelters along Mexico’s southwestern coast as Tropical Storm Carlos battered beaches with high waves and strong wind as it swirled just offshore.
Carlos was downgraded from a hurricane Sunday, but forecasters said it would likely regain minimal hurricane force while gradually edging toward land over the next 48 hours.
The storm was centered about 75 miles (120 kilometers) south of the port city of Lazaro Cardenas early Monday with top sustained winds of 70 mph (110 kph), the hurricane center said. The storm was moving west-northwest about 6 mph (9 kph).
Beaches in Acapulco were much less busy Sunday than usual for a weekend as six-foot (two-meter) waves washed away more than a dozen small palm-frond huts and strong winds knocked down some trees. Workers cleared away hammocks and lounge chairs from beachside hotels and cafes.
Jonathan Capote, spokesman for Guerrero state’s Civil Protection agency, said no serious damage had been reported and only one injury was known, someone who fell from a fence.
“Aside from a few fallen billboards and trees, we haven’t had any damage,” he said.
Out in the sea, two surfers braved the dangerous conditions to ride the big crashing waves.
Sergio Pina, a business risk manager from Mexico City, stood among a group of spectators watching the wild weather.
“It’s impressive. It’s very strong,” he said. “There are launches turned over, fallen cables.”
Officials said schools would be closed Monday and urged residents to stay inside their homes. State authorities said 507 shelters, including 98 in Acapulco, had been prepared along Guerrero’s coast.
Coastal areas stretching north from Acapulco also were taking precautions and beaches there were less busy than usual.
Carlos, on Saturday, briefly became the third hurricane of the 2015 eastern Pacific season. Forecasters said it still threatened to bring heavy rains that could cause life-threatening flash floods and mudslides.
Rain accumulations of 6 inches to 10 inches (15 to 25 centimeters) were possible in southwestern Mexico, with a chance for up to 15 inches (37 centimeters) in some areas, according to the hurricane center.
A hurricane warning extended from Tecpan de Galeana in Guerrero to Punta San Telmo in Michoacan, and a hurricane watch from west of Punta San Telmo to Manzanillo in Colima state.
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