Storm Erick weakens, wheels away from Mexico's coast

MEXICO CITY, July 7 Sun Jul 7, 2013 11:53am EDT

MEXICO CITY, July 7 (Reuters) - Hurricane Erick weakened to a tropical storm on Sunday as it veered away from Mexico's mainland into the Pacific Ocean, but it could still bring heavy winds and rain to the resorts of southern Baja California.

The U.S. National Hurricane Center said Erick was located about 260 miles (420 km) southeast of Mexico's Baja peninsula on Sunday morning and that its sustained wind gusts had weakened to 70 mph (110 km/h).

The Mexican government called off alerts for the mainland coast but a tropical storm warning was still in effect for southern Baja. The hurricane center projected the storm could pass near the tip of the peninsula early Monday.

Erick formed into a hurricane on Saturday as it moved along Mexico's Pacific coast. The storm was set to batter southern Baja, home to the resorts of Los Cabos, with strong winds and dangerous waves, the center warned.

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