Posted: Sep 1, 2009 6:15 AM by Associated Press
Hurricane Jimena is nearing Category 5 status as it roars toward Baja California. With top winds near 155 mph, forecasters say Jimena could rake the Mexican peninsula's resorts and fishing villages by Tuesday evening.
Category 5 is the top danger rating for a hurricane. Emergency workers have begun evacuating thousands of people from shantytowns in the region, where some 10,000 people live in shacks made of plastic sheeting, wood and reeds.
Bands of heavy rain are already moving across the resort town of Los Cabos. The local hotel association estimates 7,000 tourists are still there and the occupancy rate remains about 25 percent at the hotels. A local lifeguard says it's impossible to close the beaches and there's a constant struggle with surfers looking for waves. However, an international finance conference planned for this week has been moved.