MEXICO CITY — Tropical Storm Raymond steamed on Sunday toward Mexico’s southern Pacific coast, an area devastated by rains and mudslides from Tropical Storm Manuel last month.
In a region where 10,000 people are still evacuated after Manuel flooded their homes or created landslide risks, officials raced to get emergency teams in place and considered more evacuations.
The US National Hurricane Center said Raymond is expected to become a hurricane soon but is projected to take a sharp westward turn before it reaches the coast. Mexico is pinning its hopes on a cold front that would help force Raymond to turn away from the coast, said the head of Mexico’s National Water Commission, David Korenfeld.
Raymond was about 195 miles south of the beach resort of Zihuatanejo on Sunday and had sustained winds of 50 miles per hour. It was moving northwest at about 7 miles per hour, according to the Hurricane Center.
Forecasters say Raymond is expected to slowly approach Mexico’s southern Pacific coast late Monday or Tuesday. They warn heavy rainfall is possible along the south-central Mexican coast in coming days and could cause more life-threatening flash floods and mudslides. A tropical storm watch is in effect from Acapulco to Lazaro Cardenas, Mexico.
Authorities in southern Guerrero state, where Manuel and Hurricane Ingrid caused about 120 deaths from flooding and landslides, were more worried about the storm’s heavy rains than the winds. The state set up 700 emergency shelters.