MEXICO CITY (AP) — Hurricane Agatha, the first hurricane of the season, formed off Mexico’s southern Pacific coast Sunday and was heading quickly for land.
Agatha could make landfall on Monday near Puerto Escondido, in the southern state of Oaxaca.
On Sunday morning, the U.S. National Hurricane Center said the center of Agatha was located about 200 miles (320 kilometers) west-southwest of Puerto Angel, with winds of 75 mph (120 kph).
It was heading to the north-northwest at 3 mph (6 kph).
The civil defense office in Oaxaca said the hurricane’s outer bands were already hitting the coast. The office published photos of fishermen hauling their boats up on beaches to protect them from the storm.
Agatha is the first tropical storm of the 2022 hurricane season in the eastern Pacific.
A hurricane warning was issued for parts of the coast of the southern states of Guerrero and Oaxaca.
The storm could carry winds as high as 90 mph (145 kph) at landfall and the center cited the risk of “potentially life-threatening flash flooding and mudslides” as its rains pound the mountainous terrain of Oaxaca.
Mexico’s National Water Commission said in a statement that the storm’s rains “could cause mudslides, a rise in river and stream levels and flooding in low-lying areas.”
Because the storm’s current path would carry it over the narrow waist of Mexico’s isthmus, the center said there was a chance the storm’s remnants could reemerge over the Gulf of Mexico.
In northern Guatemala, a woman and her six children died Saturday when a landslide engulfed their home, but the accident did not appear to be related to Agatha.
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