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SERVICES 
Friday, 28 September, 2001, 23:46 GMT 00:46 UK
Mexico's deadly hurricane eases
A man tries to make his way across a flooded street in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico
Severe flooding is still expected
Hurricane Juliette appears to be easing off, after having smashed through the docks of the Baja California peninsula in Mexico, forcing nearly 1,000 people to flee their homes.

The deaths of five people were blamed on the hurricane, but no major injuries were reported on Friday.

A tourist battling the wind and rain
Tourists were stranded as the ports and airport remained closed
The US National Hurricane Center in Miami said the hurricane's winds had diminished from 230km/h (145mph) last week to about 120km/h (75 mph) on Friday.

Meteorologists in Miami said Juliette was virtually stalled on Friday, and it was expected to weaken into a tropical storm, unlikely to reach the US border.

Severe flooding expected

But the centre added that severe flooding was still expected as Juliette moved slowly along the coast.

It said rains of 15cm to 20cm (six to eight inches) were still expected and warned of "life-threatening flash floods and mud slides" and "battering waves".

The hurricane slammed into tourist resorts at the tip of the Baja California peninsula on Friday, smashing the windows of the luxury beachfront hotels and filling the pools with storm-blown sand.

Tourists were stranded as the ports of Los Cabos and La Paz and the international airport of Los Cabos, all on the peninsula, remained closed.

Casualties

An eight-year-old boy died on Thursday after he was swept into a river by mudslides in the southern state of Chiapas.

And a US surfer drowned while out on the high seas whipped up by the hurricane just off the coast of Cabo San Lucas. Docks were destroyed by the crashing waves, which rose to four metres.

A man boards up his pharmacy
The hurricane smashed windows
Hurricane Juliette, whose winds have reached 230km/h (145mph), has been blamed for indirectly causing other deaths earlier this week.

Two men died on Sunday in the south-western state of Chiapas when water burst river banks and flooded homes.

In Acapulco, in Guerrero state, a fisherman died when his boat capsized in high seas.

Others have been forced out of their homes.

In the western state of Michoacan, some 1,000 people abandoned their homes as they were flooded by waters rising to two metres.

See also:

09 Sep 01 | Americas
Hurricane Erin to miss Bermuda
05 Oct 00 | Americas
Mexico on hurricane alert
19 Feb 00 | Washington 2000
Decades of major hurricanes ahead
17 Jan 00 | Sci/Tech
Hurricanes set to grow fiercer
18 Sep 00 | Sci/Tech
Nature's lethal weapons
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