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Hurricane Lorena threatening Mexico’s resort-heavy Los Cabos

CABO SAN LUCAS, Mexico (AP) — Residents and tourists hunkered down in homes, shelters and hotels as Hurricane Lorena menaced Mexico’s resort-studded Los Cabos area Friday, threatening damaging winds, flash floods and life-imperiling surf along the Baja California Peninsula.

The U.S. National Hurricane Center reported that the storm’s eye was hugging the southern end of the Baja California Peninsula as of mid-afternoon, and said Lorena’s future track was “highly uncertain.”

Earlier police and soldiers went through low-lying, low-income neighborhoods, urging people to evacuate. Locals who have been through past hurricanes took no chances, pulling boats from the water and boarding up windows and doors.

“If we don’t get the yacht out, the waves can damage it,” said Juan Hernandez, who rents his craft to foreign visitors. It’s “a preventative measure for when a cyclone threatens.”

Authorities in Los Cabos said 787 people had taken refuge at 18 storm shelters. Local security forces urged evacuations even as some tourists continued to stroll the streets under cloudy skies.

Others returned to their hotels.

The hurricane center said Lorena’s maximum sustained winds had increased to 85 mph, and its center was about 45 miles east of Cabo San Lucas. The storm was reported to have stalled over the area, motionless for the time being.

But it was already kicking up heavy waves under dark skies at the twin resorts of San Jose del Cabo and Cabo San Lucas.

The port of Cabo San Lucas was closed to navigation. Authorities suspended classes for Friday and prepared to use schools as shelters if necessary.