by Staff Writers
La Paz, Mexico (AFP) Oct 17, 2012
The storm formerly known as Hurricane Paul weakened into a tropical depression Wednesday as it moved away from Mexico's west coast after triggering floods and damaging around 100 homes.
Paul was 25 kilometers (15 miles) from the Baja California peninsula at 2100 GMT as it moved towards the northwest into the ocean with maximum sustained winds of 55 kilometers per hour (35 miles per hour), Mexico's National Weather Service said.
The storm did not make landfall, but civil protection authorities in the state of Baja California Sur said its winds and rain damaged around 100 homes, flooded some areas and took down trees.
Up to 40 percent of the small fishing communities in Bahia de Magdalena were flooded while 500 people were taken to shelters after being evacuated from islands, said Venustiano Perez, mayor of the town of Comondu.
After becoming a category three hurricane on the five-level Saffir-Simpson scale on Monday, Paul weakened gradually as it approached Baja California, becoming a tropical storm on Tuesday then losing more steam Wednesday.
Mexican authorities declared a state of emergency to unlock funds for the towns of Comondu, La Paz, Loreto and Mulenge.
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