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Tropical Depression Olaf weakens after moving inland
advisory l Nora
advisory l Olaf
Larry forecast track
PUERTO VALLARTA, Mexico Tropical Storm
Olaf weakened to a depression Tuesday as it drifted northward after dumping heavy
rains but doing little damage to resort cities along Mexicos Pacific coast.
Olafs maximum sustained winds dropped to 30 mph, down from the
50 mph reached earlier Tuesday after regaining strength temporarily.
The storm was expected to continue losing strength and eventually to dissipate
as it moved over land.
Olaf was located Tuesday night about 75 miles
east-southeast of Tepic in the coastal state of Nayarit and was traveling north-northwest
at 8 mph.
Tropical Depression Nora also continued to lose strength as
it headed toward the mouth of the Gulf of California near the southern tip of
the Baja California peninsula, a region still recovering from two hurricanes in
recent weeks. The former hurricanes winds had diminished to 35 mph Tuesday.
In southern Chiapas state, meanwhile, officials searched for several people
reported missing, while residents evacuated homes damaged by intense flooding
caused by the remains of Tropical Storm Larry.
Larry hit land at the
bottom of the Gulf of Mexico early Sunday and faded to a tropical depression,
but not before dumping about 9 inches (23 cms) of rain in 24 hours on the Chiapas
capital of Tuxtla Gutierrez.
Water rose3 feet high in some homes. Hundreds
of residents spent Tuesday night in public shelters.
Maria Gonzales of
Tuxtlas San Jose neighborhood said her home was a total loss after flood
We couldnt do anything, Gonzales said.
It was preferable to leave in time and leave everything, before my children
died. Now we dont have anything.
In central Hidalgo state,
meanwhile, two people were hospitalized after their car was buried by a mudslide
caused by heavy rains. Six deaths have been reported in that state in recent weeks
and hundreds of homes have been damaged from weeks of heavy rains.
at the U.S. National Hurricane Center in Miami had warned of strong rain, winds
and waves in Olafs path, but streets, buildings and trees in Puerto Vallarta
appeared virtually untouched by the storm.
Rural areas outside the city
were hit harder by heavy rains that rushed through arroyos, cut down crops, and
flooded homes in the village of Colorado where 30 people were evacuated to a church
on high ground.
Officials had opened shelters in Puerto Vallarta and
warned foreign hotel guests to stay inside during the brunt of the storm. But
Olaf clearly lacked the fury of Hurricane Kenna, which heavily damaged Puerto
Vallartas picturesque waterfront a year ago.
It was nothing,
certainly not when compared to what happened with Kenna, said Arturo Vasquez
Serrano, manager of the San Marino hotel. Weve had some rains but
nothing all that strong ... and now Puerto Vallarta can continue functioning the
way it was before Olaf arrived.