World

Hurricane Norbert slides up coast of Baja California, prompting evacuations but no direct hit

Hurricane Norbert marched up the coast of Mexico's Baja California peninsula on Friday, dumping heavy rains and prompting evacuations, though forecasters said it was unlikely to make a direct his on land.

Baja California Sur state Gov. Marcos Covarrubias urged people in vulnerable areas to evacuate and said travelers should stay off highways as the storm roars past. He said most government services would be closed or restricted, and schools in Los Cabos and La Paz were closed on Friday.

The U.S. National Hurricane Center in Miami said early Friday that Norbert had maximum sustained winds near 90 mph (150 kph) and it was centered about 130 miles (210 kilometers) south-southeast of sparsely populated Cabo San Lazaro.

Forecasters said Norbert, which reached hurricane strength Wednesday, was headed north-northwest at 8 mph (13 kph).

Mexico's government issued a hurricane warning for the west coast of the Baja Peninsula from Santa Fe to Cabo San Lazaro. Mexico's National Meteorological Service said Norbert could unleash intense rains over much of the country's northwest.