LOS CABOS, Mexico – Hurricane Rick was more than a day away from the resorts of Baja California on Monday but the 13-foot waves it kicked up already killed two people in Los Cabos, which lies almost directly in the Category 1 storm’s forecast path.
“We have established patrols on the beaches to keep people from going into the sea,” said Francisco Cota, the Los Cabos civil defense director.
Storm shelters were being opened at local schools and patrol vehicles were making the rounds of low-lying neighborhoods with loudspeakers urging people to evacuate.
“The port is closed … and people are getting their boats our of the bay,” Cota said.
Rick’s maximum sustained winds decreased Monday to 85 mph, down from a peak of 180 mph as a Category 5 storm during the weekend, the U.S. National Hurricane Center in Miami said. Rick was moving north-northwest at about 7 mph.
The storm was expected to continue weakening and near the southern tip of the Baja California peninsula late Tuesday or early Wednesday, forecasters said.
Rick was centered about 305 miles south-southwest of Cabo San Lucas, one of the two towns that make up the municipality of Los Cabos.
Rick also threatened to disrupt a major sport-fishing tournament scheduled to start Wednesday. About 800 sports fishermen were scheduled to gather for the Bisbee’s Los Cabos tournament.