(Reuters) – Hurricane Bud lost some strength as it moved closer to Mexico’s Pacific coast on Friday and was forecast to hit land south of the popular tourist town of Puerto Vallarta, the U.S. National Hurricane Center said.
Bud, which weakened overnight to a Category 2 storm, is still expected to dump heavy rains in several states in western Mexico, threatening floods and landslides.
At Mexico’s largest Pacific port of Manzanillo, skies were overcast and rainy before the forecast landfall later on Friday.
The hurricane, the Pacific’s first of the 2012 season, had maximum sustained winds of 110 mph, the Miami-based center said.
Mexico has no significant oil installations on the Pacific coast.
“Hurricane conditions are expected to reach the coast within the hurricane warning area this afternoon,” the center said in an advisory.
Located about 105 miles southwest of Manzanillo, the hurricane was moving north-northeast at around 8 mph and Mexico’s government issued a hurricane watch along the coast from Punta San Telmo to Cabo Corrientes.
Bud is expected to soak the states of Michoacan, Colima and Jalisco and southern Nayarit with around 6 to 8 inches of rain.
In some places, the storm could dump as much as 15 inches of rain.
“These rainfall amounts could produce life-threatening flash floods and mudslides,” the center said. “Preparations to protect life and property should be rushed to completion.”
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