MEXICO CITY – Powerful tropical storm Andres churned off Mexico's Pacific coast on Monday, threatening to brush past the popular beach resort of Zihuatanejo and was expected to build into a hurricane.
Winds from Andres, the first named storm of the eastern Pacific hurricane season, gathered pace and blew as fast as 65 mph.
Andres is forecast to become a hurricane on Tuesday, the U.S. National Hurricane Center said in a statement, adding the storm likely will pass very close to Mexico's southwestern coast.
At 11 p.m. EDT on Tuesday the storm was about 100 miles southwest of Lazaro Cardenas, a major container hub in the Pacific.
Port authorities shut the resort town of Zihuatanejo's port and advised fishermen to take precautions.
Tropical storm force winds extended outward up to 70 miles from the storm's center, the NHC said. Andres could bring several inches of rain to west-central Mexico.
In separate storms, heavy rains killed five people in the northern Mexican city of Chihuahua near Texas on Sunday, Mexican media said.
There are no oil drilling operations off Mexico's Pacific coast.
(Reporting by Catherine Bremer and Noel Randewich; Editing by Bill Trott)