Fernand weakens to tropical depression over central Mexico

Reuters News
Posted: Aug 26, 2013 11:56 AM
Fernand weakens to tropical depression over central Mexico

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Fernand weakened to a tropical depression from a tropical storm as it moved northwest, away from the country's oil installations, unleashing heavy rains over central Mexico, the U.S. National Hurricane Center said on Monday.

The bulk of oil and gas installations of state-run monopoly Pemex are situated to the south of the storm, and were not expected to be affected, a company spokesperson said.

Located about 50 miles South-southwest of Tuxpan, inland from the Gulf coast in Veracruz state, the depression was packing maximum sustained winds of 35 miles per hour and moving further inland at about 9 miles per hour, the NHC said.

It had made landfall near the coastal city of Veracruz early on Monday.

More than 200 people had been evacuated from their homes in Veracruz state, according to local emergency services.

Mexico's government discontinued all costal warnings, and the depression is seen weakening into a post-tropical remnant low later in the day.

Fernand is nonetheless expected to produce between 4 and 12 inches of rain in the east-central states of Veracruz, Hidalgo, Puebla and San Luis Potosi, as well as the northern state of Tamaulipas.

"These rains could cause life-threatening flash floods and mud slides," the center said in an advisory.

(Reporting by David Alire Garcia and Liz Diaz; Editing by Simon Gardner and Gerald E. McCormick)