Tropical Storm Forms Off Mexico, Takes Aim At Oaxaca Coast

Mexico City (AP) -- Tropical Storm Beatriz has formed in the Pacific Ocean near a coastal region of southern Mexico that's home to touristy beach communities.

The U.S. National Hurricane Center says the storm has maximum sustained winds of 45 mph (70 kph).

It is located about 40 miles (65 kilometers) west-southwest of Puerto Angel and expected to make landfall later Thursday.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP's earlier story is below.

A tropical depression began soaking southern Mexico Thursday as it headed for landfall in an area of touristy beach communities.

Oaxaca state Civil Protection authorities announced that schools in the entire state were closed for the day. Tourists along the coast were advised to stay inside their hotels.

The U.S. National Hurricane Center said the storm was centered about 45 miles (70 kilometers) west-southwest of Puerto Angel.

It is expected to dump 8 to 12 inches (200 to 300 millimeters) of rain across Oaxaca state with higher local accumulations, threatening dangerous floods and mudslides.

The depression has maximum sustained winds of 35 mph (55 kph) and is moving north-northeast at 6 mph (10 kph). The hurricane center says it's possible it will become a tropical storm before crossing over land and losing strength.

A tropical storm warning remained in effect Thursday for the coast between Puerto Escondido and Salina Cruz.

Authorities already reported two landslides blocking roads in the region.

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