Tropical Storm Sonia gains strength, takes aim at Mexico

Tropical Storm Sonia is expected to make landfall early Monday, according to the National Hurricane Center. The Mexican states of Sinaloa and Durango are expecting heavy rainfall and high winds.

Bernandino Hernandez/AP
Amelia Saldana Gregorio weeps as she talks about the loss of her four children in the town of La Pintada, Mexico, Friday. Villagers are demanding that the government continue the recovery of bodies after a mudslide buried dozens after Tropical Storm Manuel more than a month ago. Meanwhile, Tropical Storm Sonia is expected to make landfall on Mexico's Pacific coast Monday.

Tropical Storm Sonia gained strength as it took aim at the Pacific coast of Mexico on Sunday, threatening intense rains over a large portion of western Mexico that has already experienced major flooding over the past couple of months.

Sonia was churning 205 miles south of the resort city of Los Cabos at the southern tip of the Baja California peninsula and was expected to make landfall early on Monday, the Miami-based U.S. National Hurricane Center said in its latest advisory.

The weather system was traveling north at 9 miles per hour with maximum sustained winds of 45 mph, the NHC said.

The center said a turn toward the north-northeast and an increase in speed is expected later on Sunday.

tropical storm warning is in effect for a stretch of the coast from the resort city of Mazatlan north to the town of Altata, both in Sinaloa state.

Sonia is expected to produce rainfall of 3 to 10 inches in both Sinaloa and Durango states, the NHC said.

Mexico's national water commission said heavy rains could extend to seven other western and northern states.

In September, Mexico suffered its worst flooding since records began when storms Manuel and Ingrid converged from the Pacific and the Gulf of Mexico, killing more than 150 people and causing damage estimated at around $6 billion.

Last month, Hurricane Raymond caused some flooding as it approached the Pacific resort cities of Acapulco andZihuantanejo, but no deaths or major damage was reported.

Sonia is the eighteenth named storm system during the current eastern Pacific hurricane season, which began in May and is set to conclude at the end of this month. 

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