June 23, 2009 / 9:54 PM / 10 years ago

UPDATE 1-Hurricane Andres roars by western Mexico, one dead

(Recasts with upgrade to hurricane strength, adds detail)

MEXICO CITY, June 23 (Reuters) - Hurricane Andres, the first cyclone of the eastern Pacific season, pounded western Mexico on Tuesday after sweeping a fisherman to his death and flooding streets in Acapulco.

Andres blew into a category one hurricane with sustained winds of 75 mph (120 kph) as it moved north and neared the shore, the U.S. National Hurricane Center in Miami said.

The storm was around 65 miles (105 km) southwest of the port and resort town of Manzanillo. It was set to brush the coast before heading back out to sea and losing strength on Wednesday.

The ports of Puerto Vallarta, Manzanillo and Lazaro Cardenas were all closed as the storm created huge waves.

No major tourist resorts were in immediate danger, however, and Mexico has no oil drilling platforms in the Pacific.

On Monday, Andres caused heavy rains that flooded parts of Acapulco, and a man in his mid-thirties was swept away to his death by a wave as he stood waist-deep in the sea in a nearby town fishing with a line.

“He was dragged away,” said an emergency services spokesman for the surrounding state of Guerrero.

A hurricane warning was in place for the stretch of coast between Punta San Telmo and Cabo Corrientes. The U.S. National Hurricane Center in Miami said residents in nearby towns and beach resorts should take steps to protect their property.

“On the forecast track, Andres will continue passing very close to or over the coast of southwestern Mexico today,” the NHC said, adding that hurricane force winds extended outward up to 15 miles (30 km) from the center, and coastal flooding and dangerous waves were possible in the area. (Reporting by Miguel Angel Gutierrez)

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