Major hurricane heads toward northwest Mexico, California 

CABO SAN LUCAS -Mexico braced Saturday for a powerful Pacific hurricane that triggered a warning of “potentially catastrophic” flooding in a northwestern tourist region and the neighboring US state of Califor­nia. Hurricane Hilary threatened to bring strong winds, flash floods and “life-threatening” surf and rip current conditions, the US National Hurricane Center (NHC) said. “We are a little scared and try­ing to stay positive,” Katrina Morgan, a tourist from United States, said in the Mexican resort of Cabo San Lucas on the Baja California peninsula. 

“Maybe a few shots of tequila will help,” she add­ed. Hilary’s maximum sustained winds reached about 145 miles (230 kilometers) an hour before slowing slightly, according to the NHC. 

It was a Category Four hurricane -- the second-most powerful on the Saffir-Simpson scale of one to five. “Life-threatening and potentially cata­strophic flooding” was likely over much of Baja California and southern California this weekend and early next week, the NHC warned. 

Residents and workers in Cabo San Lucas put up protective boarding, laid sandbags and stored furniture in preparation, as large waves crashed ashore. 

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