CABO SAN LUCAS, Mexico (AP) — Tropical Storm Lidia has caused four deaths in Mexico’s Los Cabos, officials said Friday as it continued to lash the resort-studded southern Baja California Peninsula with heavy rains.
Arturo de la Rosa Escalante, mayor of the twin resorts of Los Cabos, said two people were electrocuted by power lines, a woman drowned after being swept away by water on a flooded street and a baby was ripped from its mother’s arms as she crossed a flooded area.
Authorities warned that the death toll could rise and De la Rosa said one person was considered missing.
About 1,400 people sought refuge at storm shelters as the storm flooded streets and stranded tourists.
State Tourism Secretary Luis Genero Ruiz said about 20,000 foreign tourists were stranded after airlines suspended flights to the area.
The U.S. National Hurricane Center said Lidia made landfall early Friday west of La Paz, the capital of Baja California Sur state.
Lidia’s wind strength eased slightly to 55 mph (90 kph), and further weakening was forecast over the next few days as the storm reaches mountainous terrain.
The storm was centered about 85 miles (135 kilometers) north of Cabo San Lazaro and was heading northwest at about 12 mph (19 kph). It was expected to track the Baja California peninsula’s coast through Saturday before moving over the Pacific Ocean on Sunday morning.
The center said Lidia could produce accumulations of as much as 6 to 12 inches (20 to 30 centimeters) of rain across much of Baja California and parts of the mainland, threatening flash floods and landslides.
Lidia earlier spread rains over a broad swath of Mexico including the capital, where it was blamed for flooding that briefly closed the city’s airport this week and a 30-foot-wide (10-meter-wide) sinkhole that opened in a downtown street Thursday.
“Some of the tropical moisture from Lidia may reach parts of the desert Southwest this holiday weekend, including southern California, southern Nevada and southwestern Arizona,” the hurricane center said.
The storm was expected to travel about halfway up the peninsula before turning out into the Pacific.
Far out over the Atlantic, meanwhile, Category 3 Hurricane Irma was following a course that could bring it near the eastern Caribbean Sea by early next week. It had maximum sustained winds near 120 mph (195 kph) and was moving west near 13 mph (20 kph).
Forecasters said Irma was expected to be an extremely dangerous hurricane for the next several days. No coastal watches or warnings were in effect.