Hurricane Beatriz Brushes Mexico's Tourist-Heavy Pacific Coast

Hurricane Beatriz's winds grew to a hurricane-force 90 mph early Tuesday, brushing by Mexico's resort-studded Pacific coast with powerful rains and winds and flooding streets as tourists hunkered down in hotels.

Authorities closed the ports of Acapulco, Manzanillo and Zihuatanejo and urged hotel owners to tell guests not to go to the beach. As of late Monday, one tourist had been injured when a tree fell on him in Acapulco.

The U.S. National Hurricane Center said the storm was moving near or over the coast of Mexico overnight. Beatriz was forecast to move away from the coast by late Tuesday.

The Mexican government issued a red alert for areas around the resort city of Manzanillo. Other warnings were issued from the resort city of Zihuatanejo northwest to Cabo Corrientes. Watches went out for other parts of the coast, including southern Mexican states.

Beatriz was located about 15 miles south of Manzanillo early Tuesday and was moving north-northwest at 12 mph.

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The hurricane was expected to drop 6 to 12 inches of rain along the coast of southwestern Mexico, possibly causing dangerous flash floods and mud slides. Some coastal flooding and large waves were expected in the hurricane warning area.

A light rain was falling in Manzanillo late Monday, but people were mostly going about their business with normal vehicle traffic in main avenues. The eye of the storm was expected to pass within 37 miles of the beach town early Tuesday.

In Manzanillo, many tourists were hanging out at the beach on Monday afternoon despite warnings not to.

"There's a lot of wind," said Carmen Lopez, a 40-year-old Mexican tourist vacationing in Manzanillo with about 15 family members from Guadalajara. "I'm kind of scared ... but we're staying here in the hotel for our vacation."

The Esquivias family of Concord, Calif., who arrived Monday for their vacation, said they weren't worried about an impending hurricane at all.

"A lot of people are saying it isn't true," said Sandra Esquivias, 15.

Farther south along the coast in Zihuatanejo, civil protection officials ordered the port closed completely and authorized five shelters in case of floods or mudslides.

Some streets and avenues in the tourist district and downtown were flooded Monday night. City officials had to go around picking up fallen trees.

The Tides hotel advised its guests to remain in their rooms if possible and take precautions from rain and wind, receptionist Dulce Miranda said.

In Acapulco, the ports were closed.

About 150 Mexican soldiers were deployed on a rescue mission in case homes needed to be evacuated in Acapulco, the Mexican army said late Monday.

Authorities say 100 homes were flooded, 20 trees fell and some avenues in the tourist district were also flooded because of the heavy rains. About 30 parked vehicles were swept by the current.

Tourist Arturo Olayo, of the city of Puebla, was injured when a tree fell over him. He was transported to the hospital. His condition was unknown.

The U.S. State Department issued a message urging U.S. citizens to find shelter, monitor media reports and follow official instructions.

Based on reporting by the Associated Press.

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