Tropical Storm Newton drenches western Mexico, strengthens off Pacific coast

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Rapidly strengthening Tropical Storm Newton drenched parts of western Mexico on Monday as it headed north toward the Baja California peninsula, where it threatens to strike near the resorts of Los Cabos as a possible hurricane.

Rains associated with Newton prompted some 100 people to evacuate their homes and damaged residences in Uruapan in the Pacific coast state of Michoacan, the city government reported. Some roads were blocked by flooding and mudslides in the neighboring state of Guerrero, where some people were evacuated by helicopter. No deaths were reported in either state.

Newton's maximum sustained winds increased to 65 mph (105 kph), and the U.S. National Hurricane Center said it was expected to become a hurricane and make landfall in Baja California Sur sometime Tuesday.

The storm was centered about 235 miles (440 kilometers) south-southeast of Cabo San Lucas on Monday and was moving northwest at 15 mph (24 kph). Forecasters said it was on a likely path straight at the twin resorts of Cabo San Lucas and San Jose del Cabo, on the tip of the peninsula.

A hurricane warning was in effect for Cabo San Lucas and the nearby coastline.

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Newton is expected to cross over the peninsula and re-enter the Gulf of California, also known as the Sea of Cortez, on Wednesday.

The hurricane center said the storm is likely to continue north into Arizona as a tropical depression later in the week.

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