Rafael Galvez, the manager of the Hotel Bahia in Melaque, said his staff was preparing to board up windows in preparation for Bud's arrival. "For me, really, this is my fourth hurricane. I went through Wilma in Cancun," which hit as a Category 4, Galvez said. "This is a little less severe."
Category 2 Hurricane Jova hit the area in October, killing six people and flooding parts of Melaque and neighboring Barra de Navidad.
"There was a lot of flooding in the whole area, and we lost electricity," Galvez recalled. But this week, he said, only seven of his hotel's 26 rooms were occupied, and the hotel's guests were not planning to leave.
A separate storm was pounding much of Cuba and the Bahamas on Friday. Cuba's civil defense agency reported that a French citizen, Alain Manaud, and a Cuban, Silvestre Fortun Alvarez, were missing after trying to cross rain-swollen rivers, according to the government's Prensa Latina news agency. A search for them continued.
The agency quoted government meteorologists as saying more than 20 inches of rain had fallen on parts of the central province of Sancti Spiritus.
The U.S. National Hurricane Center in Miami reported that the system had about a 70 percent chance of becoming a tropical or subtropical cyclone.
A hurricane warning was up for Mexico's Pacific coast from Manzanillo, east of Melaque, northwestward to Cabo Corrientes. A hurricane watch and tropical storm warning were in effect from Punta San Telmo westward to east of Manzanillo.
The center said Bud was expected to weaken further before hitting the coast late Friday or early Saturday.