Hurricane Beatriz Hits Mexico’s Coast with Heavy Rains

June 21, 2011

The second named storm of the Eastern Pacific Hurricane Season, strengthened to hurricane status after forming off the coast of southwestern Mexico on Sunday morning, according to catastrophe modeling firm AIR Worldwide.

According the 8 AM PDT advisory from the National Hurricane Center, Beatriz is now slightly offshore and is located 55 miles south-southeast of Cabo Corrientes, Mexico. It is moving 14 mph in a northwest direction and packing maximum sustained winds of 80 mph.

“Beatriz is currently projected to maintain Category 1 hurricane status as it moves along the coast before making a turn to the west-northwest and farther out to sea later today,” said Dr. Tim Doggett, principal scientist, AIR Worldwide.

“Although limited wind damage is expected to well-built structures at Beatriz’s observed wind speeds, the storm is expected to bring torrential rainfall, with total accumulations of 6 to 12 inches over several coastal states in southwestern Mexico. The heaviest rainfall, up to 20 inches, can affect mountainous regions of the coast, creating a risk of deadly flash flooding and mudslides.”

Large and destructive waves are expected to batter a long stretch of coast, creating the potential for widespread coastal flooding.

Local authorities have closed several ports, including ones in Acapulco, Manzanillo and Zihuatanejo. Flooding has been reported in Acapulco, where authorities say some 100 homes have been damaged, and in downtown Zihautenejo. A hurricane warning is in effect along several hundred miles of the coast from La Fortuna to Cabo Corrientes.

The storm is not currently expected to affect Puerto Vallarta, a popular resort town with a high concentration of high-value exposure. Mexico has no significant oil or gas platforms in the Pacific.

AIR does not expect significant insured losses from this storm.

Source: AIR Worldwide

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