Latin America & Caribbean

Tropical storm Odile moves towards US state of Arizona

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Media captionThe hurricane left several towns without electricity, as Alastair Leithead reports

Tropical storm Odile is moving up the Gulf of California, bringing with it heavy rains and the threat of mudslides and flash floods.

Forecasters expect the storm to continue weakening as it moves towards the US state of Arizona.

Odile made landfall on Sunday in northern Mexico as a category three hurricane, damaging homes.

Thousands of stranded tourists were also being airlifted out of the Los Cabos resort area.

Mexico's interior ministry said military and commercial planes were transporting them from Los Cabos international airport, which is closed to commercial flights because of damage from the storm.

Although the airport is strewn with debris, officials say that the runway is usable and work has nearly been completed to get the control tower working again.

The tourists were being taken to airports in Tijuana, Mazatlan, Guadalajara and Mexico City to catch connecting flights and if necessary receive consular assistance.

Image copyright AFP
Image caption Los Cabos international airport has been extensively damaged
Image copyright AFP
Image caption Tourists are being airlifted from Los Cabos international airport

The US National Hurricane Center (NHC) in Miami said that the storm had maximum sustained winds of 80km/h (50m/ph), which will gather some strength as it moves nearly parallel to the south-western coast of Mexico throughout Wednesday and Thursday.

A second tropical storm, dubbed Polo, formed off of southern Mexico on Tuesday and is moving north-west at 19km/h (12m/ph).

The NHC predicts that it may transform into a hurricane on Wednesday, but is expected to remain off shore.

Image copyright AP
Image caption A Los Cabos resident weeps after his home was damaged by floods caused by Odile
Image copyright AP
Image caption Several upmarket resorts were damaged by the storm

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