Mexico braced for lethal storms
A hurricane set to hit the west coast of Mexico has weakened slightly but remains "life-threatening", meteorologists have warned.
The US National Hurricane Center has downgraded Hurricane Norbert, with wind speeds of up 110 mph (175 km/h), from Category 3 to 2.
Norbert is due to hit Mexico's Baja California peninsula in the Pacific on Saturday.
Forecasters have warned of torrential rain and the threat of mud slides.
"Preparations to protect life and property in the hurricane warning areas should be rushed to completion," said a public advisory from the National Hurricane Center in Miami.
Mexican authorities have issued warnings and are preparing an emergency plan.
Meteorologists said the hurricane was likely to produce rainfall of up to 10 inches (25.4 cm) in some parts of southern Baja California which could result in "life-threatening flash floods and mud slides".
Storm surge flooding of up to five feet (1.5 metres) above normal tide levels and large and dangerous battering waves are also expected on the coast, the centre warned.
Reports said fishermen in the area were pulling in their boats and tourists were being warned to stay off the beaches where yellow flags have been placed.
Fishermen take precautions as Hurricane Norbert approaches
Narciso Agundez, the Governor of Baja California Sur state - one of the two states that make up the peninsula - told the Associated Press news agency that officials there are "very worried".
The advisory said that the centre of the hurricane was 80 miles (130 km) south of Cabo San Lazaro, Mexico at 1200 GMT.
The hurricane is heading in a north-east direction towards the peninsula said the centre, adding steady weakening was expected as it moved across the peninsula, over the Gulf of California before hitting the north-western coast of mainland Mexico on Saturday night.
"However, Norbert could still be a hurricane when it makes a second landfall along the north-western coast of mainland Mexico," said the advisory.