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Mexico, California Brace For ‘Catastrophic’ Flooding As Hurricane Nears

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Hurricane Hilary barreled towards Mexico’s Baja California peninsula early on Sunday, the US National Weather Service said, as the hurricane, which was downgraded to Category 1, was still likely to bring “catastrophic and life-threatening” flooding to the region.

Meteorologists warned that despite weakening, the storm with a speed of 85mph (137kmph) – down from 90mph (145kmph) – remained treacherous as it headed towards the southwestern US as a tropical storm.

Authorities have issued an evacuation advisory for Santa Catalina Island in the US, urging residents and beachgoers to leave the tourist destination 37km (23 miles) off the coast.

Hilary brought heavy rain and flooding to Mexico and the southwestern US on Saturday, before its expected Sunday border crossing.

Despite weakening, Hurricane Hilary remains treacherous as it is likely to cause flash floods, strong winds and power outages.

This does not lessen the threat, especially the flood threat,” Jamie Rhome, the US National Hurricane Center’s deputy director, said during a Saturday briefing to announce the storm’s downgraded status.

One person drowned on Saturday in the Mexican town of Santa Rosalia, on the peninsula’s eastern coast, when a vehicle was swept away in an overflowing stream. Rescue workers managed to save four other people, said Edith Aguilar Villavicencio, the mayor of Mulege township.

Written by: Glory Igwe

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