Hurricane Agatha (C) off the Pacific coast of Mexico on May 29, 2022, at 11:20 a.m. ET, in a satellite image. (NOAA via AP)

MEXICO CITY—The first hurricane of the season formed off Mexico’s southern Pacific coast Sunday and rapidly gained power ahead of an expected strike along a stretch of tourist beaches and fishing towns as a major storm.

Agatha could make landfall as a Category 3 hurricane Monday afternoon or evening in the area near Puerto Escondido and Puerto Angel in the southern state of Oaxaca—a region that includes the laid-back tourist resorts of Huatulco, Mazunte, and Zipolite.

In early evening Sunday, the recently formed hurricane had maximum sustained winds of 110 mph (175 kph)—just 1 mph under the threshold for a Category 3, the U.S. National Hurricane Center said. It was centered about 160 miles (255 kilometers) southwest of Puerto Angel and heading to the northeast at 5 mph (7 kph).

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