Less than a week after Hurricane Odile steamrolled Baja California, stranding tens of thousands of tourists and leaving thousands of local residents homeless, the southern peninsula is under storm watch again as Tropical Storm Polo rolls north along Mexico’s west coast. The advisory affects the southern tip of the peninsula, including the popular resort towns of Cabo San Lucas and San José del Cabo , which bore the brunt of Hurricane Odile, and on up to La Paz, the National Weather Service said in a statement Friday. Polo is forecast to pass south of Baja California Saturday.
Tropical Storm Polo has maximum sustained winds of 70 mph (110 kmh) and is moving north-northwest at 7 mph, according to the weather agency. Although the center of the storm will likely remain offshore, it's expected to bring “life-threatening” surf and rip currents to the coasts of southwestern Mexico and the Baja peninsula. Heavy downpours also pose a threat to the region.
Polo is the 16th storm of an abnormally active eastern Pacific hurricane season, according to Bloomberg. The storm formed Tuesday several hundred miles south-southeast of Acapulco. It reached hurricane conditions on Wednesday before weakening on Friday, the Florida-based National Hurricane Center said. A storm reaches hurricane status when its winds top 74 mph.
Polo damaged some low-lying coastal communities on the outskirts of Acapulco Wednesday. High waves in Coyuca de Benítez dragged some residents’ beach stalls into the sea and fishermen were forced to pull their boats to shore.
Southern Baja California has had little time to recover from Hurricane Odile, which wreaked havoc on the region Monday. Odile littered many of the roads connecting the southern region to the north part of the peninsula with debris, forcing the Mexican military to fly hundreds of tourists out of the area to Tijuana and Mazatlán. Looters continued to raid supermarkets, pharmacies and electronic shops in the days after the storm. Some 135 people were injured in the hurricane.