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Tropical storm Carlos ravages Pacific coast of Mexico

Acapulco, Mexico – Local area schools have been ordered closed and shelters readied as Tropical Storm Carlos brought strong winds and high waves while it battered beaches.

Acapulco beaches were scarce of people on the usual busy Sunday as beach side hotels and cafes removed hammocks and lounge chairs. Six-foot waves washed away about a dozen palm huts, while the strong winds took out trees.

Jonathan Capote, spokesman for Guerrero state’s Civil Protection agency, said no serious damage had been reported and only one injury was known, someone who fell from a fence.

“Aside from a few fallen billboards and trees, we haven’t had any damage,” he said.

State of Guerreo officials advised residents to stay inside their homes, that schools would be closed on Monday and that 507 shelters had been prepared along Guerrero’s coast.

Swirling just offshore, Carlos was downgraded from  a Category 1 hurricane to a tropical storm on Saturday. Forecasters did warn that over the next 48 hours, Carlos would regain minimal hurricane force while making its way toward land. The US National Hurricane Center has forecast Carlos to become a hurricane again by early Tuesday.

Early Monday, Carlos was located about 75 miles (120 kilometers) south of the port city of Lazaro Cardenas with top sustained winds of 70 mph (110 kph). The hurricane center said that the storm was carrying on west-northwest at about 6 mph (9 kmp).

NHC projects Carlos could make its way near the tourist town of Puerto Vallarta by Wednesday, but by then, they say it would likely be only a tropical depression.

Southwest Mexico remains under a tropical storm watch. Heavy rains are expected to affect portions of the southwest Mexican coast into Wednesday, resulting in flash flooding and mudslides.

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