A hurricane warning was issued Wednesday for parts of Mexico’s Baja California Peninsula as Hurricane Genevieve edged closer to the country’s western coast.
The U.S. National Hurricane Center (NHC) in Miami said Hurricane Genevieve now has maximum sustained winds of 115 mph and is located about 140 miles south of the southern tip of Baja California.
The storm is moving north-northwest at 9 mph.
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Genevieve had rapidly strengthened to a major Category 4 storm in less than a day by Tuesday, but has weakened a little. While the storm has gradually weakened, it remains a dangerous Category 3 storm.
The government of Mexico has issued a hurricane warning for the southern tip of the Baja California peninsula from Los Barriles to Todos Santos, with a tropical storm warning extending northward.
“Gradual weakening is forecast over the next couple of days, but Genevieve is expected to remain a strong hurricane while it passes west of the southern Baja California peninsula,” the NHC said in an 11 a.m. EDT update.
The worst of Genevieve will remain offshore from Mexico and Cabo San Lucas as the storm is forecast to move just to the southwest of the peninsula Wednesday night into Thursday as it gradually weakens.
Hurricane-force winds extend out to 35 miles from the center of the storm, while tropical-storm-force winds reach up to 140 miles.
Tropical storm conditions are expected over southern Baja California by Wednesday afternoon, with hurricane conditions expected into Thursday morning.
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The storm is forecast to bring 3 to 6 inches of rain, with isolated amounts of up to 10 inches across the area.
“This rainfall may lead to life-threatening flash flooding and mudslides,” forecasters said.
More than 10,000 families live in flood-prone informal settlements in homes of wood and cardboard in Cabo San Lucas, areas that usually have to be evacuated when storms approach.
“They haven’t told us anything, but if there’s strong wind it’s going to take the roof off the house,” Flor Juárez, who moved to the area three years ago from the southern state of Guerrero, told the Associated Press.
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Los Cabos municipal civil defense director Erick Santillán said as the storm neared that officials would decide whether to open shelters.
“It’s not going to hit us, but it will give us water and strong winds,” he said. “We’re already making preparations.”
Genevieve is the seventh storm so far this season and the third hurricane and second major storm after Douglas, which strengthened into a Category 4 before giving Hawaii a near-miss last month.
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Hurricane season in the Pacific and for Hawaii lasts from June 1 until the end of November. August and September are historically active months for cyclones in the region.
Fox News’ Brandon Noriega and the Associated Press contributed to this report.