PUERTO VALLARTA, Mexico Hurricane Bud strengthened into a major storm and was headed early Friday toward an area of beach resorts and small mountain villages on the Pacific coast stretching south from Puerto Vallarta.
Authorities canceled school in 11 communities expected to be hit by heavy rains in Jalisco state, and emergency workers were preparing emergency shelters.
A hurricane warning was up for Mexico’s Pacific coast from Manzanillo northwestward to Cabo Corrientes.
A hurricane watch and tropical storm warning were in effect from Punta San Telmo westward to east of Manzanillo.
By the early morning hours of September 4, Ike was a Category 4 hurricane, with maximum sustained winds of 145 mph and a pressure of 935 mbar .
The storm was centered about 150 miles (240 kilometers) southwest of Manzanillo and moving north northeast at 10 mph (17 kph).
The US National Hurricane Center in Miami said gradual weakening was expected Friday afternoon, but Bud was still expected to reach Mexico’s coast as a hurricane.
The government of Jalisco state prepared hundreds of cots and dozens of heavy vehicles like bulldozers that could be needed to move debris.
Officials in Puerto Vallarta said they were in close contact with managers of the hundreds of hotels in the city in case tourists needed to move to eight emergency shelters.
It said the sea along the city’s famous beachfront was calm, but swimming had been temporarily banned as a precaution.
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