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Hurricane Karl set to make landfall in Mexico

Hurricane Karl strengthened and was expected to gain more power before hitting Mexico’s coast near a port and an oil hub today.

Karl’s maximum sustained winds reached 100 mph, making it a Category 2 storm, according to the US National Hurricane Centre in Miami.

The centre said there was a possibility it could become a major hurricane with winds of 110 mph or higher before making landfall.

The Mexican government issued a hurricane warning for a 186-mile stretch of coast in Veracruz state, stretching northward from the city of the same name.

On its predicted path, Karl could make landfall between the port of Veracruz and the oil hub of Poza Rica.

Authorities in Veracruz state – whose southern half has suffered severe flooding over the past few weeks – braced for a hit on its northern coast, preparing sleeping mats, bottled water and other supplies for anyone taking refuge in shelters.

Workers in Veracruz city cut dangerous tree branches that could become flying debris.

In the beach town of Tecolutla, just south of Poza Rica, fishermen and operators of small tour boats began pulling their craft out of the water.

Some people boarded up windows with sheets of plywood, lashed down cooking gas tanks and reinforced doors and signs to prevent them from being blow away by the hurricane’s wind, said Tecolutla’s civil defence director, Edilberto Peralta.

“We are getting ready and warning people early, to avoid any loss of human life,” said Peralta, whose town of about 25,000 people was lashed by Hurricane Dean in 2007 and severely flooded by a tropical depression in 1999. “We are ready to take drastic measures.”

He said officials were considering whether any residents needed to evacuate their homes.

The port of Tuxpan was closed to small craft Thursday, and Port Capt. Gaspar Cime said larger vessels would be banned later in the day.







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