Hurricane John barreled along Mexico’s Pacific coast Wednesday as a dangerous Category 3 storm, pounding beach resorts with heavy rain and strong winds.
Residents of the busy port of Manzanillo boarded up doors and windows, and those living by hills were moved to emergency shelters.
“What worries me most is if there is a mudslide. Here, the people most at risk are those living in the hills,” customs official Jaime Gonzalez said.
Earlier, Acapulco, a popular tourist destination that is home to more than a million people, had sea surges of up to 10 feet. Seafront roads were ankle-deep in water and people struggled to stay on their feet in 135-mph wind.
The Miami-based National Hurricane Center earlier said John had drifted closer to shore.
Wednesday night, the storm was moving slowly northwest parallel to the coast about 65 miles southeast of Manzanillo.
The Miami-based National Hurricane Center downgraded John one mark to Category 3 but warned that heavy rainfall could cause “life-threatening flash floods” and mudslides.
It said that on its current track, John was moving west-northwest and would remain off the coast, but said a small deviation in its path could bring it onshore.