Category 4 Hurricane About to Hit Baja California
Odile's winds strengthen to 135 mph
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Sep 14, 2014 3:06 PM CDT
Tourists watch the ocean from inside a swimming pool at a resort in Los Cabos, Mexico, Sept. 14, 2014.   (Victor R. Caivano)
camera-icon View 1 more image

(Newser) – Hurricane Odile grew into a massive Category 4 storm and took aim at the resort area of Los Cabos today, prompting authorities to evacuate vulnerable coastal areas and prepare shelters for up to 30,000 people. The US National Hurricane Center in Miami said Odile was on a track to pass close to or directly over the southern end of the Baja California Peninsula by tonight and into tomorrow. Odile's maximum sustained wind speeds have risen to 135 mph. The storm's center is about 185 miles south-southeast of Baja, and it's headed that way at about 15 mph.

David Korenfeld, director of Mexico's National Water Commission, described Odile as a "highly dangerous" storm, adding that it could track into the Gulf of California, also known as the Sea of Cortez. Some 800 Mexican marines are on standby, and officials have readied heavy equipment to help out in areas where mudslides could occur. Another official said that 164 shelters had been set up for the tens of thousands that are expected to be affected. Meanwhile, in the Atlantic, Tropical Storm Edouard strengthened to a hurricane, although it is expected to remain far out at sea and pose no threat to land.