Hurricane Katia spins off Mexico Gulf coast, menaces Veracruz

10 September, 2017, 15:39 | Author: Irene Delgado
  • NOAA wind speed projections for Hurricane Jose

Hurricane Katia has deteriorated into a soggy tropical depression that is dumping rain over the mountains of east-central Mexico.

Mexican authorities are preparing for the impact of Hurricane Katia, which could affect over a million people as it rumbles towards the state of Veracruz from the Gulf of Mexico.

The U.S. National Hurricane Center says Katia had winds of 105 miles per hour (165 kph) early Friday afternoon, with strengthening expected.

Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto has warned on Thursday of the great danger of Katia for those areas recently damaged by a major quake in Mexico in a century. "Some strengthening is forecast during the next day or so and Katia could be near major hurricane strength at landfall".

Officials in Veracruz say Katia could cause landslides and flooding.

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Hurricane Katia spins off Mexico Gulf coast, menaces Veracruz

Meanwhile, Mexico is dealing with the aftermath of a powerful natural disaster on Thursday night.

Katia has "worrying characteristics" because it is very slow moving and could dump a lot of rain on areas that have been saturated in recent weeks, Luis Felipe Puente, head of Mexico's national emergency services, told domestic television on Wednesday.

The natural disaster, the strongest to strike Mexico in more than 80 years, killed at least 61 people.

Katia was downgraded to a tropical storm from a hurricane when it was about 185 kilometres northwest of Veracruz with sustained winds of 65 km/h, the centre said in an advisory. The storm's hurricane-force winds (classified as 74 mph or higher) extend 25 miles out from the center, and the radius of tropical-storm-force winds extends about 70 miles.

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