Hurricane Newton bears down on Mexico's Los Cabos resorts

LOS CABOS: A storm off the southern tip of Mexico's Baja California peninsula, a popular tourist haven, strengthened to a Category 1 hurricane on Monday and is expected to hit landfall early Tuesday.

Hurricane Newton lay about 160 miles (257 km) south-southeast of the tourist resort of Cabo San Lucas on Monday evening, with maximum sustained winds picking up to 85 mph (137 km), the US National Hurricane Center said.

"Those people that are in the hurricane warning area, they need to rush to protect life and property and move to a safe place as quickly as they can," Dennis Feltgen, a spokesman for the NHC, told Reuters on Monday. "Later tonight it’s going to be too late."

The skies were overcast in Los Cabos late on Monday, as a light drizzle fell. It is low season for tourism in the area, and hotel staff said occupancy levels were average for this time of year.

"The hotel occupancy is normal for these dates," said Carla Tellez, a receptionist at the Sandos Finisterra Los Cabos resort.

Mexican emergency services officials were evaluating the progress of the storm, and were taking some preventive measures, but had not yet ordered any evacuations.

"As a precaution, classes were suspended from this afternoon until tomorrow," a government official in Los Cabos told Reuters.

Mudslides triggered by intense rainfall in eastern Mexico killed around 40 people last month as saturated hillsides collapsed onto modest homes in the wake of dissipated Tropical Storm Earl.