MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Packing sustained winds of 115 miles per hour (185 km/hour), with even higher gusts, Hurricane Genevieve was set to brush the southern tip of Mexico's Baja California peninsula on Wednesday, as two people drowned in heavy seas, authorities said.
In a change from previous forecasts, the U.S. National Hurricane Center (NHC) said a hurricane warning was in effect in an area including the resorts of Los Cabos and the town of Todos Santos.
"The center of Genevieve is forecast to pass near or just west of the Baja California peninsula ... hurricane conditions are expected within the hurricane warning area beginning tonight and continuing into Thursday," the NHC said.
A tropical storm warning is in effect for the west coast of the Baja California peninsula from north of Todos Santos to Cabo San Lazaro.
The NHC warned that heavy rainfall from Genevieve may lead to life-threatening flash flooding and mudslides across portions of the far southern end of Baja California Sur through Thursday.
The storm is also expected to produce swells that are likely to cause life-threatening surf and rip current conditions.
Baja California Sur's civil protection authority said a lifeguard and a woman drowned in heavy seas at Cabo San Lucas and added it was concerned about the forecasts for downpours.
The civil protection agency said the state was prepared for power outages and ready to keep attending to coronavirus patients hooked up to hospital ventilators.
Currently a category 3 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson hurricane wind scale, Genevieve is expected to produce rainfall amounts of 3 to 6 inches with isolated totals of 10 inches across portions of the southern end of Baja California Sur state.
Genevieve is forecast to gradually weaken over the next couple of days but is still expected to remain a strong hurricane while it passes west of the southern Baja California peninsula, the NHC said.
(Reporting by Anthony Esposito; Additional reporting by Lizbeth Diaz; Editing by Frank Jack Daniel, Kirsten Donovan and Aurora Ellis)