Two dead, three missing as Hurricane Newton batters northwest Mexico

SAN JOSE DEL CABO, Mexico (Reuters) - Hurricane Newton barreled across Mexico’s Baja California peninsula tourist haven on Tuesday, dumping heavy rain and killing at least two people, officials said.

Three people were missing.

The Category 1 hurricane hit Cabo San Lucas early on Tuesday morning, then headed northwest. By evening, the storm had crossed the tourist resort area and was about to head over the Gulf of California.

It is currently low season, and hotels popular with American tourists are not full.

Two bodies were found on a beach, and it is believed they were part of a five-person crew aboard a fishing vessel that was wrecked by the storm, Jose Luis Rios, the captain of the port of La Paz, told reporters.

He said the three other crew members were missing, adding that the navy was searching for their bodies.

On Tuesday evening, the storm was around 85 miles (137 km) southwest of the port of Guaymas, with maximum sustained winds of 75 mph (120 kph), the U.S. National Hurricane Center said.

Newton was expected to move north-northeast on Wednesday, and into southeastern Arizona by Wednesday afternoon, the NHC said. The storm should dissipate by early Thursday, it added.

Additional reporting by German Medrano in La Paz; Writing by Simon Gardner; Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe and Nick Macfie