Raymond hits southern Mexico with more rain, no major damage reported

ACAPULCO, Mexico Tue Oct 22, 2013 10:19am EDT

ACAPULCO, Mexico Oct 22 (Reuters) - Hurricane Raymond lashed southwest Mexico with more rain early on Tuesday, keeping schools closed, forcing hundreds of people to evacuate homes and soaking areas still trying to overcome devastation caused by record flooding.

However, there were no early reports of significant damage.

The National Hurricane Center said Raymond had weakened slightly overnight but remained a category 3 hurricane, with winds of up to 115 miles per hour (185 kph) as it hovered about 85 miles (137 km) off the shores of Guerrero state.

Acapulco, which was battered by tropical storms that enveloped Mexico from east and west in mid-September, has been hit again by rain, and its port was closed late on Monday, as was that of the freight hub of Lazaro Cardenas to the northwest.

The hurricane was stationary early on Tuesday but could still draw nearer to the shoreline later in the day. Raymond is currently churning around 140 miles (225 km) west of Acapulco, and may start to move out to sea on Wednesday, the NHC said.

Heavy rain came down overnight in Acapulco, but by Tuesday morning, only a slight drizzle was falling with light winds. People moved about on the streets and there were no obvious signs of serious flooding in the city center.

The city nearest to the threat of Raymond is Zihuatanejo to the northwest of Acapulco.

Mexico has no major oil installations in the area threatened by Raymond, which has prompted hurricane alerts from Acapulco in Guerrero up to Lazaro Cardenas in the state of Michoacan.

The country suffered its worst flooding since records began last month when storms Manuel and Ingrid converged from the Pacific and the Gulf of Mexico, killing more than 150 people and causing damage estimated at around $6 billion.

About 5,700 people are still living in shelters in Acapulco due to the impact of the storms, the local government says.

Torrential rains brought hotel occupancy rates in the beach resort to record lows last month and flooded Acapulco's airport, stranding thousands of tourists.

The flooding and displacement of people has increased the risk of waterborne illness in Mexico. The country has recorded its first local transmission of cholera in just over a decade. (Reporting by David Alire Garcia; Editing by Dan Grebler)

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