Mexico's Pacific coast bracing for Hurricane Kenna

Report
from Deutsche Presse Agentur
Published on 25 Oct 2002
Mexico City (dpa) - Mexico Friday moved 50,000 people to safety as Hurricane Kenna, a category 5 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson scale, was just 40 kilometres away from its Pacific coast and threatening to pound it with powerful winds, heavy rains and large ocean surges.

Kenna's winds had reached 270 kilometres per hour and gusts of up to 325 kilometres per hour. It was churning up the ocean with waves higher than six metres as it headed to the coast at more than 30 kilometres per hour.

Mexican forecasters were predicting Kenna would touch land at around midday local time in the southern part of the coast of Nayarit near to the border of Jalisco state.

Authorities were evacuating residents from Nayarit and Sinaloa states, fearing Kenna could wreak damage similar to that caused by Isidore a month ago on the other side of the country.

Mexican authorities also evacuated 3,000 people from the Islas Marias islands, off the coast of Nayarit, directly in the path of Kenna.

Security measures were also being taken in Los Cabos, on the tip of the Baja California peninsula, where a meeting of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum was taking place, and heads of state from about 20 countries were expected to gather Saturday.

The Mexican government said earlier that should Kenna head directly towards Los Cabos, an alternative site for the summit was ready.

But it appeared that since Kenna had shifted northeast, heading to the Mexican mainland, that the risk of the hurricane affecting the APEC gathering had diminished. dpa am pr

AP-NY-10-25-02 1106EDT

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