Baja's 'strongest ever' hurricane set to make landfall tonight
Mexican authorities are scrambling to get many of the peninsula's residents to evacuate as the nearly Category 5 storm approaches.
Winds on Monday night neared 155 mph, which puts it just shy of a devastating Category 5 storm. Even if it weakens before hitting land (expected Tuesday evening) forecasters say it will strike as a major hurricane.
Mexican authorities focused on evacuation throughout Monday, urging up to 10,000 people to evacuate. Many refused, but the government said it would begin forced evacuations. "We are going to start by inviting people to leave... the moment will come when we will have to make it obligatory," Garibaldo Romero, the interior secretary for the municipal government, said.
"US citizens located in areas likely to be impacted by Hurricane Jimena and who do not have access to adequate and safe shelter should consider departing while commercial flights are still available," it warned.
A local hotel association told the Associated Press that about 7,000 tourists were still in the resort town of Los Cabos. A tax conference, by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) was supposed to have convened in Los Cabos but was moved to Mexico City for talks Tuesday and Wednesday. Delegates from some 70 countries had already begun to arrive in the resort town.