Storm Katia rapidly weakens after making landfall in Mexico


(Reuters) – Storm Katia rapidly weakened on Saturday after it made landfall near the working-class beach resort of Tecolutla in the state of Veracruz on the Mexican Gulf coast, the U.S. National Hurricane Center (NHC) said.

Katia was downgraded to a tropical storm from a hurricane when it was about 115 miles (185 km) northwest of Veracruz with sustained winds of 40 mph (65 km/h), the center said in an advisory.

The storm was to stall near the Sierra Madre Mountains, the center said.

Veracruz state officials said in a statement on Friday that the storm could cause landslides and flooding, and urged people living below hills and slopes to be prepared to evacuate.

Luis Felipe Puente, head of Mexico’s national emergency services, said this week that 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.

Lifeguards are pictured at a lifeguard post ahead of Hurricane Katia in Veracruz, Mexico, September 7, 2017. REUTERS/Victor Yanez

State energy company Pemex [PEMX.UL] has installations in and around the coast of Veracruz but has not reported any disruption to its operations.

Mexico is also dealing with the aftermath of a powerful earthquake on Thursday night. The quake, the strongest to strike the country in more than 80 years, killed at least 61 people.

As Katia was making landfall, Hurricane Irma, one of the most powerful Atlantic storms in a century, walloped Cuba’s northern coast as a Category 5 storm.

Millions of Florida residents were ordered to evacuate after the storm killed 21 people in the eastern Caribbean and left catastrophic destruction in its wake.

Hurricane Jose continued to gather strength far out in the Atlantic and was nearing Category 5 strength as it churned about 435 miles east-southeast of the Northern Leeward Islands.

Reporting by Brendan O’Brien in Milwaukee; editing by Dale Hudson and Jason Neely

Our Standards:The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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