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Lorena downgraded to tropical storm off northwest Mexico coast

Lorena is shown on September 19 in this satellite image obtained from NOAA/RAMMB (AFP Photo/HO)

Mexico City (AFP) - Hurricane Lorena was downgraded to a tropical storm as it swirled in the Gulf of California off northwest Mexico Saturday, after making landfall near the Los Cabos beach resort, the Mexican hurricane monitor said.

With maximum sustained winds of 85 kilometers (50 miles) per hour, the storm is expected to bring heavy rains to Baja California Sur and the neighboring state of Sinaloa as it moves north at 19 kilometers per hour, CONAGUA said.

Lorena's center would again "make landfall on Saturday night or Sunday morning in Bahia Kino, Sonora," it added.

"Landslides along with river and stream overflows that affect roads and highways could be recorded due to the rains, along with flooding in low-lying areas and saturation of drains in urban sites," the agency wrote in a bulletin.

No damage or casualties were reported after Lorena made landfall on Friday as a Category 1 hurricane at the tourist hot spot of Los Cabos, in Baja California.

The US-based National Hurricane Center said Lorena was forecast to "cross the northwestern coast of mainland Mexico on Sunday" with rapid weakening anticipated thereafter.

In Mexico's Baja California Sur, state authorities opened shelters, while the government in Sonora state closed several ports.

Mexico's location makes it vulnerable to hurricanes on both its Pacific and Atlantic coasts.