MEXICO CITY >> Hurricane Orlene strengthened some Saturday while heading for an expected landfall early next week on Mexico’s northwestern Pacific coast.
The U.S. National Hurricane Center said Orlene had maximum sustained winds of 80 mph (130 kph) at midafternoon. It was centered about 195 miles (315 kilometers) south-southwest of Cabo Corrientes and moving north at 5 mph (7 kph).
On Sunday night or early Monday, Orlene’s eye is expected to pass near or over the Islas Marias, a former Mexican penal colony that the government is trying to convert into an ecotourism center.
The storm is forecast to make landfall Monday or Monday night in Sinaloa state, in the region around the resort city of Mazatlan.
Orlene might bring heavy rains and high winds to the Pacific coast resort of Puerto Vallarta as it passes offshore, forecasters said. Puerto Vallarta closed its port to ship and boat traffic Saturday as a precaution.
Mexico’s National Water Commission said Orlene could cause “mudslides, rising river and stream levels, and flooding in low-lying areas.”