Tropical storm Earl hits coast of Mexico's Veracruz state

Tropical Storm Earl made landfall on the coast of Mexico's Veracruz state late Friday night after gaining strength as it passed over the Gulf of Mexico.

The U.S. National Hurricane Center said torrential rains brought by Earl could produce flash floods and mudslide on Mexico's Gulf Coast.

Earl is expected to produce total rainfall of eight to 12 inches, with isolated maximum amounts of 18 inches, over portions of the states of Veracruz, Hidalgo, Oaxaca, Guerrero, Puebla, Tabasco, and Campeche through Saturday night.

Earl first made landfall as a Category 1 hurricane near Belize City but deteriorated into a weak tropical storm Thursday as it passed over northern Guatemala. It had been forecast to weaken into a tropical depression but instead regained strength Friday as it passed over the Gulf of Mexico, making a second landfall on Mexico's coastline.

By late Friday night, Earl was located about 25 miles (40 kilometers) southeast of the city of Veracruz. It had maximum sustained winds of 60 mph (95 kph), the center said. A tropical storm warning was in effect for a stretch of coastline from Roca Partido north to Tecolutla.

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Earlier, Earl raked the northern coast of Honduras with heavy rain then hit parts of Belize, Guatemala and southern Mexico. Much of Belize was without electricity Thursday morning and some roofs were torn off, power lines toppled and trees uprooted.

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