MEXICO CITY - Tropical Storm Rachel strengthened to hurricane force Saturday as it swirled off Mexico's Pacific coast, a region already buffeted by major storms this season.
The US National Hurricane Center said Rachel, a category one hurricane, is located about 460 miles (740 kilometers) southwest of the Baja California peninsula, with maximum sustained winds of 75 miles (120 kilometers) per hour.
Rachel is the 12th storm of the eastern north Pacific season, the Miami-based NHC said.
There were no coastal warnings in effect late Saturday, and it was too early to know if Rachel will make landfall, but Pacific coast residents were praying for calmer weather as they continue to rebuild from Hurricane Odile.
Odile, which hit two weeks ago, brought chaos to idyllic beaches in Los Cabos and nearby areas, knocking out power, destroying wooden homes in poorer neighborhoods and sparking a wave of looting in shops.
Last weekend, resident of the same area had a close call with Tropical Storm Polo, which skirted about 100 miles, (160 kilometers) off the coast of Baja California.