The Latest: Earl weakens to a tropical storm

AP News
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Posted: Aug 04, 2016 8:15 AM
The Latest: Earl weakens to a tropical storm

BELMOPAN, Belize (AP) — The Latest on Hurricane Earl. (all times local):

6:10 a.m.

Earl has weakened to a tropical storm after making landfall in Belize early Thursday as a Category 1 hurricane.

The U.S. National Hurricane Center says Earl's maximum sustained winds decreased to near 65 mph (105 kph) with additional weakening expected as the storm moves farther inland. Earl is forecast to weaken to a tropical depression by Thursday night or Friday morning.

Meanwhile, Mexico has discontinued all warnings associated with the storm and Belize has replaced its hurricane warning with a tropical storm warning.

Earl is centered about 90 miles (145 kilometers) west of Belize City, Belize, and is moving west near 15 mph (24 kph).

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12:25 a.m.

The U.S. National Hurricane Center says Hurricane Earl has made landfall near Belize City, Belize, with maximum sustained winds near 80 mph (130 kph).

The hurricane is centered early Thursday about 5 miles (10 kilometers) southwest of Belize City and is moving west near 14 mph (23 kph).

A hurricane warning is in place for Belize and parts of Mexico, though the storm was expected to begin weakening when it moved ashore. The hurricane center says heavy rains will be a danger in southern Mexico through Saturday as Earl crosses the Yucatan Peninsula and the states of Tabasco and Veracruz.

In Belize, the government opened storm shelters and used radio and television broadcasts to urge residents of low-lying areas to move to higher ground.