MAZATLAN, Mexico >> Hurricane Orlene made landfall on Mexico’s Pacific coast near the tourist town of Mazatlan today.
Electrical cables swayed and sent off showers of sparks in the town of El Rosario, about 40 miles south of Mazatlan, close to where the hurricane hit.
Orlene lost some strength after roaring over the Islas Maria, a former prison colony being developed as a tourist draw. The main island is sparsely populated, mainly by government employees, and most buildings there are made of brick or concrete.
The hurricane’s winds slipped back to 85 mph as it hit land about 45 miles southeast of Mazatlan this morning, according to the U.S. National Hurricane Center.
Authorities did not immediately report any damage, but along the coast they suspended classes, closed seaports and set up shelters.
A hurricane warning was in effect from San Blas to Mazatlan.
The government of Jalisco state, where Puerto Vallarta is located, suspended classes today in towns and cities along the coast.
In Sinaloa, where Mazatlan is located, some emergency shelters were opened.
Orlene could bring flood-inducing rainfall of up to 10 inches in some places, as well as coastal flooding and dangerous surf.
The ports of Manzanillo and Puerto Vallarta were closed to ships and Mexico’s navy announced that ports including Mazatlan, San Blas and Nuevo Vallarta were closed to small craft.
Mexico’s National Water Commission said Orlene could cause “mudslides, rising river and stream levels, and flooding in low-lying areas.”
The hurricane center said hurricane-force winds extended out about 15 miles (30 kilometers) from the center and tropical-storm-force winds out to 70 miles.
The storm peaked early Sunday at Category 4 force with maximum sustained winds of 130 mph.