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Jimena Weakens to Tropical Storm


Tropical Storm Jimena continues to weaken as it moves along Mexico's Baja California coast.

The National Hurricane Center in Miami says Jimena is carrying maximum sustained winds of 85 kilometers an hour, as it closes in on the Santa Rosalita area.

Forecasters expect the storm to weaken to a tropical depression by Thursday night as it moves over the central Baja California peninsula.

Jimena came ashore Wednesday between Puerto San Andresito and San Junaico as a weakened Category One hurricane, the lowest on a five-level scale that measures a storm's intensity and potential for destruction.

The storm ripped roofs from buildings, knocked out power and littered areas with debris.

Forecasters expect some eight to 13 centimeters of rain over the central Baja California peninsula and parts of western Mexico in the coming days.

Authorities declared a state of emergency in Baja California's Sur state, where thousands of impoverished residents fled to emergency shelters to wait out the storm.

Meanwhile, the hurricane center says Tropical Storm Erika is expected to weaken as it travels on a western path over the Caribbean. The storm is approaching Puerto Rico and the U.S. and British Virgin Islands with winds near 65 kilometers an hour.

A tropical storm watch remains in effect for Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands, while storm warnings are posted for other areas in the eastern Caribbean.

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