Latin America & Caribbean

Mexico, US and Caribbean eye trio of storms

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration satellite image
An image timed at 0815GMT Wednesday shows Karl (far left), Igor (centre) and Julia (far right)

Tropical Storm Karl has made landfall in Mexico, with two dangerous category four hurricanes - Igor and Julia - also sweeping in from the Atlantic.

Karl, packing maximum sustained winds of 65mph (100km/h), struck land in a sparsely populated area of Mexico's Yucatan peninsula.

Igor, said to be the season's most powerful hurricane, is moving west-north-west towards Bermuda.

Julia intensified to category four on Wednesday, with winds close to 135mph.

Storm surges

Karl hit the Yucatan peninsula close to the fishing town of Xcalak and south of the Mayan ruins resort of Tulum.

Although Karl is now a relatively weak system, it threatened to bring heavy rain. No evacuations have so far been ordered.

The Miami-based National Hurricane Center (NHC) said there could be as much as 8in (20cm) of rain in affected areas in Mexico, as well as in parts of Belize and northern Guatemala.

"A storm surge is expected to produce some coastal flooding near and to the north of where the centre makes landfall," the NHC said.

Tropical Storm Karl hits Mahahual in southern Mexico

Karl is expected to pass over the flat Yucatan area and then head back out to open water, strengthening again.

Mexico has issued a tropical storm watch from Ciudad del Carmen to Celestun, the stretch at which Karl is expected to re-enter the Gulf of Mexico.

At 0300GMT on Wednesday, Igor was 605 miles (974km) east of the northern Leeward Islands.

The hurricane is not expected to make landfall for a several days, but storm swells will affect Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, the Bahamas and the Leewards on Wednesday.

Igor's maximum winds have weakened slightly but are still at 145mph (233kph).

"Much more detail on Igor will be covered in the next few days, as it likely becomes a potential threat," the NHC said.

Julia rapidly intensified early on Wednesday but is not close to land.

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