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Hurricane Newton Hits Sonora State

September 24, 1986

HUATABAMPO, Mexico (AP) _ Hurricane Newton swept inland just south of this town near the Pacific coast Tuesday, blowing down trees and utility poles and ripping the roofs off some houses, officials reported.

They said there were no reports of injuries.

The Pacific storm at first headed southeast in the direction of the port of Yavaros, but turned inland toward the mountains and weakened, Rigoberto Parra, Huatabampo’s assistant police chief said.

″The danger has passed. It diverted toward the mountains. We’ve withdrawn personnel,″ he said. ″Fortunately it did not hit here with the force that was expected.″

Hurricane Newton struck land at about 8 a.m. MST (11 a.m. EDT) with winds of 74 mph and gusts up to 93 mph, according to Fernando Suarez of the National Weather Service in Mexico City.

He said that five hours later the storm ″no longer shows as a hurricane″ on satellite maps, but he had no new details on its intensity.

About 90,000 people live in the Huatabampo area, where agriculture, raising livestock and fishing are the main activities. The town is nine miles inland, about 800 miles northwest of Mexico City and 300 miles south of the Arizona border.

Parra said about 700 people were evacuated from areas around Huatabampo and Yavaros, 12 miles to the southeast. By midafternoon all had returned home except 127 who lived in a section of Huatabampo where roofs were blown off about 40 houses, he said.

″There are quite a few trees down, light poles, telephone poles,″ he said, but service was not severely affected.

Some windows were shattered in Huatabampo, Parra added, but there was no flooding.

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