SAN JOSE DEL CABO, Mexico -A powerful Hurricane Odile bore down on the resort area of Los Cabos on Sunday, prompting Mexican authorities to evacuate vulnerable coastal areas and prepare shelters for up to 30,000 people.
The U.S. National Hurricane Center in Miami said Odile's core was on a track to pass close to or directly over the south end of Baja California late Sunday and into Monday and move by the southern portion of the peninsula on Tuesday.
Rain began falling at midafternoon, hours before the storm's expected arrival. Gusty winds whipped palm trees, waves pounded the rocky shore and fluttering black flags signaled that beaches were closed due to high surf.
Odile's maximum sustained winds were 125 mph late Sunday afternoon, down a bit from earlier in the day. Its center was about 90 miles south-southeast of the southern tip of Baja California and was moving to the north-northwest at 16 mph.
David Korenfeld, director of Mexico's National Water Commission, described Odile as "highly dangerous."
After reaching Category 4 strength Sunday, Odile was downgraded to Category 3. But it was still a major storm that threatened to bring high winds, deadly surf and heavy rains to Baja and parts of the mainland, and forecasters said it could strengthen again as it approached land.