MEXICO CITY (AP) — Tropical Storm Beatriz formed in the Pacific Ocean and soaked parts of southern Mexico with heavy rains on Thursday as it bore down on an area of touristy beach communities.
The U.S. National Hurricane Center said the storm had maximum sustained winds of 45 mph (70 kph), which is just above the threshold for tropical storm classification.
It was located about 40 miles (65 kilometers) west-southwest of Puerto Angel in the afternoon, headed north-northeast at about 6 mph (9 kph) and expected to make landfall later in the day or at night.
Oaxaca state Civil Protection authorities announced that schools in the entire state were closed for the day, and tourists along the coast were advised to stay inside their hotels.
The hurricane center said Beatriz was expected to dump 8 to 12 inches (200 to 300 millimeters) of rain across Oaxaca with higher local accumulations, likely unleashing life-threatening floods and mudslides.
Mexican authorities reported two slides blocking roads in the region.
A tropical storm warning was in effect for Mexico's Pacific coast between Puerto Escondido and Salina Cruz.