Earl downgraded to tropical storm after landfall in Belize
Friday, August 5, 2016, 11:47 AM -
Earl has been downgraded to a tropical storm after making landfall in Belize City as a Category 1 hurricane early Thursday.
The storm continues to rapidly weaken as it tracks over high terrain. However, Earl continues to drench portions of southern Mexico, which poses a major inland flash flood and mudslide threat for the region.
As of Friday morning, Earl is located about 220 km east-southeast of Veracruz, Mexico with maximum sustained winds of 65 km/h. A tropical storm warning remains in effect for Ciudad del Carmen westward to Laguna Verde, Mexico, according to the National Hurricane Center (NHC).
Earl is expected to produce total rainfall accumulations of 200 to 300 mm over portions of several Mexican states including, Chiapas, Oaxaca, Puebla, Tabasco and Veracruz. Some localized areas could even see up to 400 mm.
"Earl is moving toward the west at 17 km/h, and this general motion is expected to continue during the next day or so," says the NHC in a Friday statement. "On the forecast track, Earl will move inland into the Mexican state of Veracruz later today or tonight. No significant change in strength is anticipated before landfall."
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Winds gusted over 90 km/h for several hours overnight at Phillip Goldston International Airport west of Belize City early Thursday when the storm made landfall.
On Sunday, Earl (before reaching Tropical Storm status) killed six people and injured 12 in the Dominican Republic.
The six deaths and 12 injuries occurred when a bus was chartering a group back from a beach trip in the northeast, the Associated Press reports.
The storm sent power lines crashing down on the bus, sparking a fire.
Station cameras captured a tropical system in the Caribbean yesterday. Today it formed into Tropical Storm Earl.https://t.co/FYy5s9jGkq— Intl. Space Station (@Space_Station) August 2, 2016
Check back for continued updates on this storm system.