Mexican military and private aircraft began airlifting stranded tourists from the popular resort area of Los Cabos Tuesday, after Hurricane Odile slammed the Baja California peninsula and ravaged the vacation destination, flooding homes, damaging mega-resort hotels and sending debris into an airport terminal.
The first flight left for Tijuana with 44 passengers aboard. The Mexican government on Monday said damage from the tropical storm that struck Sunday and Monday had stranded some 30,000 tourists, including 26,000 foreign visitors, in Los Cabos. Later officials expanded the airports flying tourists out of the region to three: San Jose de los Cabos International Airport, Los Cabos Airport, and La Paz Airport, the Consulate General of the United States said.
Odile was downgraded to a tropical storm an is expected to be reduced to a tropical depression by Wednesday. Still, the weakened storm is expected to send more rain to the flood-prone southwest U.S. Flash watches were issued in parts of southern California, Nevada, New Mexico and Texas. Mexico is bracing for another tropical storm which is expected to become a hurricane by the time it hits the southwestern coast of the country later this week. Tropical Storm Polo is expected to stay south of Baja California peninsula, according to the National Hurricane Center.