Hurricane Max heads toward Mexico’s Pacific coast

MEXICO CITY — Hurricane Max, a Category 1 hurricane, churned toward Mexico’s Pacific coast Thursday, the U.S. National Hurricane Center said, bearing down on a region popular with tourists that includes resorts like Acapulco, Zihuatanejo and Ixtapa.

The storm brought maximum sustained winds of 80 miles per hour Thursday morning and was about 40 miles south of Acapulco, the center said, adding it was moving east at 7 miles per hour9.

“The center of Max is forecast to cross the coast of southern Mexico in the hurricane warning area this evening or tonight,” the NHC said.

Max will likely strengthen before reaching the coast but is seen weakening once it hits land, where it will dissipate, the NHC said.

In the state of Guerrero, home to some of Mexico’s major tourist resorts, Max could dump as much as 10 inches of rain, the NHC said.

The storm is bad news for Acapulco, which is already struggling with endemic gang violence. Although it is not peak season, many tourists were likely to travel there to celebrate Mexico’s Independence Day celebrations at the weekend.

Max arrives a week after a powerful 8.1 magnitude quake shook southern Mexico, destroying buildings in the state of Oaxaca and killing at least 98 people nationwide.

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