Hurricane Odile slams Mexico's Baja California

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Hurricane Odile - last updated 9/16/2014
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Hurricane Odile slams Mexico's Baja California
People loot a supermarket in San Jose del Cabo, on September 15, 2014 after hurricane Odile knocked down trees and power lines in Mexico's Baja California peninsula. Odile weakened to category two on the five-level Saffir-Simpson scale but still packed powerful winds of 175 kilometers (110 miles) per hour after crashing ashore overnight near Cabo San Lucas, according to the US National Hurricane Center. Some 24,000 foreign tourists and 6,000 Mexican beachgoers spent the night in hotels where conference rooms were transformed into shelters. AFP PHOTO/RONALDO SCHEMIDT (Photo credit should read RONALDO SCHEMIDT/AFP/Getty Images)
People loot a supermarket in San Jose del Cabo, on September 15, 2014 after hurricane Odile knocked down trees and power lines in Mexico's Baja California peninsula. Odile weakened to category two on the five-level Saffir-Simpson scale but still packed powerful winds of 175 kilometers (110 miles) per hour after crashing ashore overnight near Cabo San Lucas, according to the US National Hurricane Center. Some 24,000 foreign tourists and 6,000 Mexican beachgoers spent the night in hotels where conference rooms were transformed into shelters. AFP PHOTO/RONALDO SCHEMIDT (Photo credit should read RONALDO SCHEMIDT/AFP/Getty Images)
People loot a supermarket in San Jose del Cabo, on September 15, 2014 after hurricane Odile knocked down trees and power lines in Mexico's Baja California peninsula. Odile weakened to category two on the five-level Saffir-Simpson scale but still packed powerful winds of 175 kilometers (110 miles) per hour after crashing ashore overnight near Cabo San Lucas, according to the US National Hurricane Center. Some 24,000 foreign tourists and 6,000 Mexican beachgoers spent the night in hotels where conference rooms were transformed into shelters. AFP PHOTO/RONALDO SCHEMIDT (Photo credit should read RONALDO SCHEMIDT/AFP/Getty Images)
A woman carries a sheet afte hurricane Odile caused destruction in Cabo San Lucas, in Mexico's Baja California peninsula, on September 15, 2014. Odile weakened to category two on the five-level Saffir-Simpson scale but still packed powerful winds of 175 kilometers (110 miles) per hour after crashing ashore overnight near Cabo San Lucas, according to the US National Hurricane Center. Some 24,000 foreign tourists and 6,000 Mexican beachgoers spent the night in hotels where conference rooms were transformed into shelters. AFP PHOTO/RONALDO SCHEMIDT (Photo credit should read RONALDO SCHEMIDT/AFP/Getty Images)
People loot a supermarket in San Jose del Cabo, on September 15, 2014 after hurricane Odile knocked down trees and power lines in Mexico's Baja California peninsula. Odile weakened to category two on the five-level Saffir-Simpson scale but still packed powerful winds of 175 kilometers (110 miles) per hour after crashing ashore overnight near Cabo San Lucas, according to the US National Hurricane Center. Some 24,000 foreign tourists and 6,000 Mexican beachgoers spent the night in hotels where conference rooms were transformed into shelters. AFP PHOTO/RONALDO SCHEMIDT (Photo credit should read RONALDO SCHEMIDT/AFP/Getty Images)
View of cars stranded in a flooded street in San Jose del Cabo, on September 15, 2014 after hurricane Odile knocked down trees and power lines in Mexico's Baja California peninsula. Odile weakened to category two on the five-level Saffir-Simpson scale but still packed powerful winds of 175 kilometers (110 miles) per hour after crashing ashore overnight near Cabo San Lucas, according to the US National Hurricane Center. Some 24,000 foreign tourists and 6,000 Mexican beachgoers spent the night in hotels where conference rooms were transformed into shelters. AFP PHOTO/RONALDO SCHEMIDT (Photo credit should read RONALDO SCHEMIDT/AFP/Getty Images)
NOAA 5-day project path for Hurricane Odile.
NASA’s Terra satellite acquired this natural-color view of the storm at about 12 p.m. local time on September 14, when it was still southeast of the Baja California peninsula.
NOAA satellite loop of Hurricane Odile moving up the Baja Peninsula on Monday morning, September 15, 2014.
#odile
#Odile just 1 of the 3 hallways flooded with water on the way to the staff bathroom.
There's the roof tile that smashed my window #odile
#odile aftermath
#Odile staff locker room ceiling
Make shift beds in the hallway #Odile
We're in the eye. #odile
Residents, Tourists Sent to Shelters as Hurricane Odile Makes Landfall - ABC News http://t.co/VSWndfklmh via @ABC http://t.co/MADJec7nQq
A view of empty street in Cabo San Lucas, Baja California State, Mexico, on September 14, 2014. Hurricane Odile swirled menacingly toward Mexico's Los Cabos resorts on Sunday, forcing authorities to evacuate high-risk areas and open shelters as the powerful storm threatened to thrash the Pacific coast. AFP PHOTO/RONALDO SCHEMIDT (Photo credit should read RONALDO SCHEMIDT/AFP/Getty Images)
Hurricane Odile makes landfall on Mexican coast https://t.co/l7tkAc2CTp http://t.co/s0oPQ8GQDf
Large waves generated by powerful Hurricane #Odile pound Cabo San Lucas, Mexico - WATCH: http://t.co/kPU4Kv6Elk http://t.co/fcsvQojTpJ
People watch waves in Cabo San Lucas, Baja California State, Mexico, on September 14, 2014. Hurricane Odile swirled menacingly toward Mexico's Los Cabos resorts on Sunday, forcing authorities to evacuate high-risk areas and open shelters as the powerful storm threatened to thrash the Pacific coast. AFP PHOTO/RONALDO SCHEMIDT (Photo credit should read RONALDO SCHEMIDT/AFP/Getty Images)
People watch waves in Cabo San Lucas, Baja California State, Mexico, on September 14, 2014. Hurricane Odile swirled menacingly toward Mexico's Los Cabos resorts on Sunday, forcing authorities to evacuate high-risk areas and open shelters as the powerful storm threatened to thrash the Pacific coast. AFP PHOTO/RONALDO SCHEMIDT (Photo credit should read RONALDO SCHEMIDT/AFP/Getty Images)
Naples, UNITED STATES: Thierry (L) and Odile (R) Grounin, residents of Naples, Florida, sit and drink coffee at a partially boarded up coffee cafe, 23 October, 2005, in Naples, ahead of Hurricane Wilma. The Grounins, originally from France, decided not to evacuate Naples and will ride out the storm and help look after a neighbor who lives alone. AFP PHOTO/Stan HONDA (Photo credit should read STAN HONDA/AFP/Getty Images)
View of waves in San Jose del Cabo, Baja California State, Mexico, on September 14, 2014. Hurricane Odile swirled menacingly toward Mexico's Los Cabos resorts on Sunday, leading authorities to evacuate high-risk areas and open shelters as the powerful storm threatened to thrash the Pacific coast. AFP PHOTO/RONALDO SCHEMIDT (Photo credit should read RONALDO SCHEMIDT/AFP/Getty Images)
View of waves in San Jose del Cabo, Baja California State, Mexico, on September 14, 2014. Hurricane Odile swirled menacingly toward Mexico's Los Cabos resorts on Sunday, leading authorities to evacuate high-risk areas and open shelters as the powerful storm threatened to thrash the Pacific coast. AFP PHOTO/RONALDO SCHEMIDT (Photo credit should read RONALDO SCHEMIDT/AFP/Getty Images)
People gather in a shelter in Cabo San Lucas, Baja California State, Mexico, on September 14, 2014. Hurricane Odile swirled menacingly toward Mexico's Los Cabos resorts on Sunday, forcing authorities to evacuate high-risk areas and open shelters as the powerful storm threatened to thrash the Pacific coast. AFP PHOTO/RONALDO SCHEMIDT (Photo credit should read RONALDO SCHEMIDT/AFP/Getty Images)
People make preparation for the hurricane Odile in Cabo San Lucas, Baja California State, Mexico, on September 14, 2014. Hurricane Odile swirled menacingly toward Mexico's Los Cabos resorts on Sunday, forcing authorities to evacuate high-risk areas and open shelters as the powerful storm threatened to thrash the Pacific coast. AFP PHOTO/RONALDO SCHEMIDT (Photo credit should read RONALDO SCHEMIDT/AFP/Getty Images)
People gather in a shelter in Cabo San Lucas, Baja California State, Mexico, on September 14, 2014. Hurricane Odile swirled menacingly toward Mexico's Los Cabos resorts on Sunday, forcing authorities to evacuate high-risk areas and open shelters as the powerful storm threatened to thrash the Pacific coast. AFP PHOTO/RONALDO SCHEMIDT (Photo credit should read RONALDO SCHEMIDT/AFP/Getty Images)
Strong #hurricane hits Mexico's Baja California Peninsula. Regram via @tylergaglia #odile
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By ALBA MORA ROCA

CABO SAN LUCAS, Mexico (AP) - Hurricane Odile blazed a trail of destruction through Mexico's Baja California Peninsula that leveled everything from ramshackle homes to big box stores and luxury hotels, leaving roads and entire neighborhoods as disaster zones Monday.

The storm, which made landfall near Cabo San Lucas the previous night as a powerful Category 3 hurricane, toppled trees, power poles and road signs along the main highway, which at one point was swamped by rushing floodwaters. Countless windows were blown out of rental cars and high-end hotel rooms, and resort facades crumbled to the ground.

"It's the entire corridor" between San Jose del Cabo and Cabo San Lucas, said Deneb Poli, a medical worker at the Hotel Melia Cabo Real. She said all the hotel's guests and employees were fine, but electricity and phone lines were cut and cellphone coverage was spotty. "There are parts of hotels that are completely collapsed. ... The damage is pretty extensive."

The Los Cabos international airport remained closed to all flights on Monday.

All along the highway, homes and businesses were heavily damaged with many reduced to shells with only the core structure intact. The walls of an OfficeMax collapsed into the parking lot. A convenience store was ripped apart with the contents of its shelves dumped to the ground. A Comex paint shop sign was missing its "x," ripped away from the building by the gale-force winds.

In Colonia Unidad Real, a neighborhood that sprang up years ago in a former creek bed, hundreds of homes were damaged or destroyed with debris scattered everywhere.

After spending a harrowing night with her in-laws, Graciela Castillo Monroy, 44, and her family returned to find the roof of their home gone and all but two of its cinderblock walls collapsed. They piled what belongings could be salvaged atop a soggy mattress and began picking up the pieces.

"Well, time to start over again," Monroy said. "Because we don't have any other option but to forge ahead."

Hurricane Odile Brings Historic Force To Cabo San Lucas, Mexico

The newspaper Tribuna de los Cabos reported people being injured by flying glass, power lines and traffic signals down throughout the city and a fire at the Cascadas resort on Medano Beach. No details about the blaze were immediately available.

"From what we have seen around here, everything is pretty much destroyed," said Alejandro Tealdi, a 32-year-old resident of Cabo San Lucas. His home was damaged and suffered some flooding, but nobody was hurt. "In the seven years I've been here, I've never seen anything hit like this."

Odile continued to lash the state of Baja California Sur as it marched northward with strong winds and heavy rains, but it weakened to a Category 1 hurricane and was expected to be downgraded to a tropical storm on Tuesday.

The U.S. National Hurricane Center said the storm had maximum sustained winds near 90 mph (150 kph) Tuesday afternoon. It was centered about 65 miles (100 kilometers) south of Loreto and moving to the north-northwest at 13 mph (20 kph).

Odile was expected to drop 6 to 12 inches of rain with isolated accumulations of 18 inches, threatening to unleash dangerous flash floods and slides.

"We have many flooded streets and are maintaining five shelters with between 500 and 800 evacuees," said Eduardo Bautista, director of Civil Protection in the state capital, La Paz. "So far we have no casualties."

Forecasters also warned of a dangerous storm surge with large waves as well as drenching rains capable of causing landslides and flash floods.

Across the region, people hunkered inside overnight to ride out the storm's wrath. In one hotel near San Jose del Cabo, guests moved from a makeshift shelter into crowded basement storage areas after the boarded up windows failed.

A hurricane warning was in effect from Punta Abreojos to Santa Rosalia.

Meanwhile in the central Atlantic, Hurricane Edouard strengthened to a Category 2 storm Monday with maximum sustained winds near 105 mph (165 kph), although it was forecast to remain far out at sea and pose no threat to land.

The U.S. hurricane center said Edouard's center was 655 miles (1,055 kilometers) east-southeast of Bermuda and was moving northwest at 14 mph (22 kph).

--

Associated Press writer Peter Orsi in Mexico City contributed.

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