Published: Sun, September 10, 2017
Worldwide | By Sean Reid

Hurricane Katia strengthens to Category Two off Mexico

Hurricane Katia strengthens to Category Two off Mexico

Then hours after hitting the coast, Katia weakened to a tropical storm with winds at just 45 mph. The country has been dealing with twin national emergencies this week: at least a further 65 people had already been killed in an quake, the strongest in decades.

Meanwhile, Hurricane Jose continued to move northwestward in the Atlantic and was blowing winds of 145 mph as a Category 4 storm about 160 miles east of the Northern Leeward Islands early on Saturday morning. The mountainous region where the storm has been dumping rain has a history of deadly floods and slides.

Mexico's national emergency services said this week that Katia was worrying because it is very slow-moving and could dump a lot of rain on areas that have been saturated in recent weeks.

Hurricane Katia made landfall Friday near the working-class beach resort of Tecolutla in the state of Veracruz on the Mexican Gulf coast, the U.S. National Hurricane Center said. Forecasters said it could become a major hurricane by the time in hits land on Saturday.

Katia is a much smaller storm than Hurricane Irma, which is causing devastation in the Caribbean and is expected to arrive in Florida this weekend.

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Elsewhere, a Category 5 Hurricane Irma left a string of deaths and damage across the Caribbean, battering Cuba late Friday with winds of 160 miles per hour (257 kph) and bearing down on south Florida.

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

Almost 2,900 people have been evacuated from their homes in Veracruz, and 1,500 more relocated to storm shelters in the neighboring Puebla state, AP reports.

In downtown Juchitan, the remains of brick walls and clay tile roofs cluttered streets as families dragged mattresses onto sidewalks to spend a second anxious night sleeping outdoors.

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