Tropical Storm Paul Weakens Off Baja Coast; U.S. Tourist Missing

Tropical Storm Paul weakened Tuesday as it headed toward the southern tip of the Baja California peninsula, still threatening to cause heavy flooding on Mexico's mainland.

A Baja California fisherman died after slipping off sea-battered rocks and rescue workers were searching for an American who they feared had drowned after being swept out to sea by the surging waves.

Paul had maximum sustained winds near 50 mph (85 kph) and was moving north at about 13 mph (20 kph), but was expected to further weaken before slipping just south of Los Cabos early Wednesday, the U.S. National Hurricane Center in Miami said.

Click here to track Hurricane Paul at the NOAA Web site.

Forecasters, however, warned that remnants of the storm could still dump up to 10 inches (25 centimeters) of rain in the mountains on Mexico's mainland, potentially causing severe flooding.

At 2150 GMT, Paul was 200 miles (325 kilometers) southwest of Cabo San Lucas on southernmost Baja California, and about 375 miles (600 kilometers) southwest of Mazatlan on the mainland. A tropical storm warning was in effect for the tip of Baja and a tropical storm watch was in effect for the mainland from Mazatlan to Altata.

A 23-year-old Mexican fisherman died Monday after he slipped off rocks pounded by the rough sea in Todos Santos, north of Los Cabos, according to Baja California Sur state civil defense director Jose Gajon.

Off the coast of the resort of Cabo San Lucas, officials were searching for the body of an American man who wwe're not going to get much of anything at all," said Sandra Scandiber, owner of the small Los Milagros Hotel in Cabo San Lucas. "I don't think today is going to be a beach day, but tomorrow just may be."

Mexico was struck by two Pacific hurricanes last month. Hurricane John battered Baja California, killing five people and destroying 160 homes, while Hurricane Lane hit the resort town of Mazatlan, causing relatively minor damage.

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