Hurricane Newton storms up Mexico's Baja California peninsula

Reuters News
Posted: Sep 06, 2016 9:49 AM

By Jean Luis Arce

SAN JOSE DEL CABO, Mexico (Reuters) - Hurricane Newton barreled up Mexico's Baja California peninsula tourist haven on Tuesday, dumping heavy rains accompanied by whipping winds, but there were no immediate reports of major damage.

The Category 1 hurricane hit Cabo San Lucas early on Tuesday morning, then headed northwest, with the eye of the storm over the south of the peninsula. It is currently low season, and hotels popular with American tourists were not full, staff said.

Reina and Jorge Torres, who live in Canada, slept in the lobby of the Hyatt Place in San Jose del Cabo because they were too scared to stay in their room on the top floor of the five-story hotel.

"The bedroom moved, as if it were an earthquake of magnitude 6," said Reina Torres, who is 56 and retired.

The storm was around 110 miles (180 km) northwest of Cabo San Lucas, with maximum sustained winds at 80 mph (129 kph), the U.S. National Hurricane Center said.

Beatriz Cruz, an emergency services official in Baja California Sur, said there were no reports of serious damages or casualties, but said she could see fallen trees and posts from her house.

"We don't have light or cell phone (service), only land lines," she said.

Newton was expected to move northwest on Tuesday, with a turn north by nightfall. It was expected to lose strength over the next 24 hours.

(Additional reporting by Anahi Rama in Mexico City; Writing by Simon Gardner; Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe and Dan Grebler)