MEXICO CITY (AP) — Hurricane Rick gathered force Saturday off Mexico’s southern Pacific coast and is forecast to reach land by Monday as a near-Category 3 storm.
The U.S. National Hurricane Center said Rick may become a near-major hurricane with winds as high as 115 miles per hour (185 kph) before hitting land somewhere around the seaport of Lazaro Cardenas and the resort of Zihuatanejo late Sunday or early Monday.
The hurricane was located about 165 miles (265 kilometers) south-southwest of Zihuatanejo, which is also in the warning area.
The storm had winds of 85 mph (140 kph), and was moving north-northwest at 5 mph (8 kph). The center warned Rick could produce flash flooding and mudslides.
It was expected to hit along a stretch of coast west of Zihuatanejo that holds no other resorts but includes two major seaports and mountainous terrain that in the past has been very vulnerable to flash flooding and mudslides.
A hurricane warning was in effect for points west of Acapulco all along the coast to Punta San Telmo.
“During its passage over land, it will cause intense to torrential rains and possible mudslides and flooding, as well as rising levels in streams and rivers, in the states of Guerrero, Michoacan, Colima and Jalisco," Mexico's National Water Commission said in a statement.