MEXICO CITY— Tropical Storm Beatriz soaked parts of southern Mexico with heavy rains as it bore down on an area of touristy beach communities Thursday.
The U.S. National Hurricane Center said the storm had maximum sustained winds of 45 mph (70 kph) and its center was 15 miles (20 kilometers) south of Puerto Angel in the early evening. Beatriz was headed northeast at about 5 mph (7 kph) and expected to make landfall by tonight.
Oaxaca state Civil Protection authorities closed schools in the entire state for the day, and tourists along the coast were advised to stay inside their hotels.
The hurricane center said Beatriz was expected to dump 8 to 12 inches (200 to 300 millimeters) of rain across Oaxaca with higher local accumulations, likely unleashing life-threatening flash floods and mudslides.
"Heavy rainfall remains the primary threat," the center said in a bulletin.
Mexican authorities reported two slides blocking roads in the region.
A tropical storm warning was in effect for Mexico's Pacific coast between Puerto Escondido and Salina Cruz.