Hurricane Kay is approaching the Mexican peninsula of Baja California.

MEXICO CITY (AP) — Hurricane K gained strength in the Pacific on Wednesday and began to make landfall in Mexico’s Baja California Peninsula, where authorities have prepared by opening shelters and cutting off some roads.

Forecasters said there’s a chance the outer bands of a major storm could bring heavy rain and possibly flash flooding to parts of scorched Southern California and southwestern Arizona Friday night and Saturday.

Kei’s maximum sustained winds rose to 105 mph (165 km/h) and forecasters said it could touch the middle of the peninsula on Thursday or Friday.

The U.S. National Hurricane Center in Miami reported that Cay was about 215 miles (345 km) southwest of the southern tip of the Baja Peninsula. Kay was moving north-northwest at 12 miles per hour (19 km/h).

A hurricane warning has been issued for the sparsely populated section of the peninsula around Bahia Asuncion, and the state government of Baja California Sur has announced the opening of shelters for people who need to evacuate. It said that some streams had already risen and closed some roads.

Forecasters expected Cay to remain offshore as it moves further north, roughly parallel to the coast. It was an extensive storm with tropical storm winds extending 230 miles (370 kilometers) from the center.

Heavy rain continued in Los Cabos on the southern tip of the peninsula on Wednesday. Mayor Oscar Leggs Castro said there were already more than 800 people in shelters at the twin resorts as the wind picked up early Wednesday morning.

Long queues of cars were waiting to fill up at gas stations. Non-essential businesses were closed.

Landslides reportedly cut some roads on the peninsula, but there were no reports of casualties.

In the Atlantic, Hurricane Earl intensified northeast of Puerto Rico after heavy rains hit the Leeward Islands, the United States, the British Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico.

Earl was about 460 miles (740 km) south of Bermuda on Wednesday and was moving north at 8 miles per hour (13 km/h).

Earl had maximum sustained winds of 85 mph (140 km/h) and was expected to intensify into a major hurricane later this week as it turns towards the open Atlantic.

Meanwhile, Hurricane Daniel has risen to the open sea far beyond the Atlantic, about 625 miles (1,005 km) northwest of the Azores.

The maximum wind speed reached 80 miles per hour (130 km/h).

Copyright 2022 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or distributed.

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