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article imageKarl becomes a hurricane, threatens Mexican Gulf Coast

By Igor I. Solar     Sep 16, 2010 in Environment
Miami - Tropical Storm Karl gained strength today in the Gulf of Mexico and became a Category 1 hurricane after crossing the Yucatán Peninsula and heading now to the Mexican state of Veracruz, said the US-National Hurricane Center.
Karl crossed the Yucatán Peninsula on Tuesday and Wednesday causing no human casualties and no damage except for the temporary closure of some roads and harbours and knocking out power to about 10,000 homes. The rains caused by the storm also affected Belize and Guatemala.
Petróleos Mexicanos (PEMEX), the state-owned oil company, reported no damages so far to major oil platforms in the Gulf of Mexico. At about 5:00 am (local time) this morning, Karl was located on the coast of the Mexican state of Campeche and was moving west with winds of 65 km per hour and gusts occasionally reaching 100 km/h, according to the National Hurricane Center United States.
Now, a category 1 hurricane, with winds of 120 kilometres per hour, Karl could make landfall late on Thursday in a region already hard hit by floods resulting from previous recent storms.
At 10 AM this morning (Thursday Sept. 16) the National Hurricane Center issued the following warning:
"Karl is expected to produce rainfall accumulations of 5 to 10 inches across the Central and Southern Mexican Gulf Coast Region, with isolated amounts of 15 inches possible in the Interior Mountains. These rains could cause life-threatening flash floods and mud slides."
The impact of the storm on Yucatán coincided with the celebrations of the bicentenary of the independence of Mexico. However, at the time it was not strong enough to cause the suspension of scheduled events.
Karl is the latest major storm announced in a season of particularly strong hurricanes in the Caribbean and the Atlantic. While this storm is affecting Mexico, other two active hurricanes, Igor and Julia, are still advancing in the Atlantic, though far from inland areas.
Some pictures of the effect of Hurricane Karl in the coastal areas of the Yucatán Peninsula may be seen here.
More about Karl, Hurricane, Tropical storm, Yucatan peninsula, Mexico
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