National

Nov 3, 2013 9:28 PM by Associated Press

Mexico braces for latest storm

MEXICO CITY - Officials on Mexico's storm-struck Pacific coast are preparing for the possibility of heavy rains with the arrival of fast-moving Tropical Storm Sonia, which is projected to hit the mainland by early Monday.

The U.S. National Hurricane Center says Sonia is centered about 95 miles south of the tip of the Baja California and 170 miles south-southwest of Culicacan.

The storm has maximum sustained winds of 45 mph and is heading north-northeast at 17 mph. Sonia could weaken some before coming ashore, and is likely to dissipate rapidly once over land.

A civil defense director for Sinaloa, the state in the storm's path, says it is likely to strike near areas hit in September by Hurricane Manuel.

The government of Sinaloa state says school classes have been canceled for Monday in five municipalities. Sixty shelters are being opened in case anyone has to evacuate their homes.

He says officials are on alert but have not yet decided if anyone would need to be evacuated.

In the resort town of Los Cabos in Baja California, officials have opened a shelter and say the port has been closed to small craft.

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