World News

Norbert becomes dangerous hurricane off Mexico coast

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Hurricane Norbert became an extremely dangerous Category 4 storm in the Pacific on Wednesday and headed for Mexico’s Baja California peninsula where it was due to hit land this weekend.

The storm was packing 135 mph (215 kmh) winds with higher gusts and was located about 445 miles from Mexico’s northwestern coast, the U.S. National Hurricane Center said in a statement.

It is the second major storm to threaten Mexico in recent days after Tropical Storm Marco pounded Mexico’s other coast in the Atlantic on Tuesday, dumping heavy rains and causing flooding in the state of Veracruz. But Marco caused no major damage to the country’s oil and gas installations.

Mexico’s main oil export ports remained open and there were no reports of people injured or missing from Marco.

Norbert is expected to make landfall north of the city of La Paz, likely missing a direct hit on the beach resort of Los Cabos, a popular destination for U.S. vacationers.

“Norbert will be moving over slightly cooler waters, which is expected to initiate gradual weakening. It is much too early to determine how strong Norbert will be when it approaches the Baja peninsula,” the center said.

Reporting by Mica Rosenberg, by Philip Barbara