Hurricane Bud weakens as it heads towards western coast of Mexico


A satellite image taken by the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association shows hurricane Bud about 110 miles off the coast of Mexico on May 25, 2012.



Hurricane Bud weakened to a Category 1 storm as it headed towards the western coast of Mexico, where it is expected to make landfall between Puerto Vallarta and Manzanillo later today.

Bud is packing winds of 75 miles per hour (120 kilometers per hour) and is expected to dump up to 15 inches of rain on the coastal states of Michoacan, Colima, Jalisco and southern Nayarit, according to an advisory issued by the Miami-based National Hurricane Center.

The first hurricane of the 2012 season has been downgraded from a Category 3 storm, but could still bring “hurricane-force winds” to the laid-back beach resorts and villages along the coast, the NHC warned.

According to the Associated Press, authorities canceled school in 11 communities expected to be hit by heavy rains in Jalisco state and prepared emergency shelters.

The NHC said: “A dangerous storm surge is expected to produce coastal flooding near and to the east of where the center of Bud makes landfall.”

In Manzanillo, home to one of the biggest commercial ports in Mexico, heavy rains and wind gusts tore through the city, knocking over trees and sending at least three families into emergency shelters, Reuters reported.

But it was business as usual for local hotel receptionist Mauricio Fuente.

“Everything is carrying on as normal,” Fuentes, who works at the Tesoro resort in Manzanillo, told Bloomberg.

“The hotel is open and will continue working and accepting guests until the authorities tell us we need to start evacuating them.”