Tropical Storm Raymond Moving Away From Mexico

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Associated Press Release

MIAMI (AP) -- Tropical Storm Raymond is maintaining its strength as it moves away from Mexico's Pacific coast.

At its peak, Raymond was a Category 3 hurricane that threatened to collide with the Mexican coast, a region devastated by a storm last month. But Raymond spun in place offshore for more than a day before heading out to sea Wednesday.

Raymond's maximum sustained winds early Thursday are near 45 mph (75 kph). The storm is centered about 305 miles (490 kilometers) south-southwest of Manzanillo, Mexico, and is moving west near 8 mph (13 kph).

Meanwhile in the Atlantic, Tropical Depression Lorenzo is expected to weaken and become a remnant low. Lorenzo's maximum sustained winds are near 35 mph (55 kph). The depression is centered about 1,020 miles (1,640 kilometers) east of Bermuda.

Associated Press Release

ACAPULCO, Mexico (AP) -- Raymond weakened from a hurricane to a tropical storm Wednesday and began moving away from Mexico's Pacific coast, granting relief to a region devastated by storms last month.

The U.S. National Hurricane Center said Raymond's maximum sustained winds decreased to near 65 mph (100 kph) with additional weakening possible over the next few days. At its peak, the storm was a Category 3 hurricane with winds of 125 mph (205 kph) that threatened to collide with the Mexican coast.

The storm was centered about 155 miles (250 kilometers) south-southwest of the beach resort of Zihuatanejo Wednesday morning and was moving west-northwest at 8 mph (13 kph).

Officials in coastal mountain regions said they were evacuating hundreds of people from vulnerable villages on Tuesday because of fears of landslides, said Guerrero state's deputy secretary of civil protection, Constantino Gonzalez.

While Raymond failed to produce the sort of torrential rains inflicted by Tropical Storm Manuel last month, authorities were taking no chances following widespread criticism of their preparations for the earlier storm, which caused more than $1.7 billion in damage and about 120 deaths. Some 10,000 people are still homeless.

Still the storm flooded streets in low-lying parts of Acapulco and other areas, and some homes wrecked by Manuel were once again flooded.

In the Atlantic, Tropical Storm Lorenzo strengthened far out to sea but posed no threat to land. Lorenzo's maximum sustained winds early Wednesday were over 50 mph (80 kph) with gradual weakening forecast over the next two days. The storm was centered about 940 miles (1,515 kilometers) east of Bermuda and was moving east near 8 mph (13 kph).

Associated Press Release

MEXICO CITY (AP) -- Hurricane Raymond has become a Category 3 storm with winds near 120 mph (195 kph) as it swirls near Mexico's already soaked Pacific coast.

And the U.S. National Hurricane Center says early Monday that additional strengthening is possible.

Raymond has stalled south of Mexico but a general northward drift is expected that will bring the hurricane closer to the coast. The hurricane is centered about 165 miles (265 kilometers) west-southwest of Acapulco.

Hurricane Raymond brings the threat of heavy and possibly dangerous rains a month after Tropical Storm Manuel caused widespread damage with floods and mudslides.

A hurricane warning was in effect from Tecpan de Galeana, up the coast from Acapulco, north to the port of Lazaro Cardenas. A tropical storm warning was posted from Acapulco to Tecpan.

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