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The Independent UK
The Independent UK
Via AP news wire

Hurricane Lisa heads toward Belize coast in Central America


Tropical Storm Lisa strengthened into a Category 1 hurricane Wednesday morning in the western Caribbean as it headed for an expected landfall in Belize later in the day.

The U.S. National Hurricane Center said Lisa had maximum sustained winds of 75 mph (120 kph). The storm's center was about 100 miles (165 kilometers) east-southeast of Belize City and moving west at 15 mph (24 kph).

Lisa was forecast to cross Belize into northern Guatemala and then move into southeastern Mexico by Thursday.

The hurricane center warned of the danger of flooding and mudslides from heavy rains. It said the storm could drop 4 to 6 inches (10 to 15 centimeters) of rain on Belize, the Bay Islands, northern Guatemala, the eastern portion of Mexico's Chiapas state and the Mexican state of Tabasco.

A hurricane warning was posted for Roatan island and the other Bay Islands of Honduras as well as the coast of Belize north and the southern coast of Mxico's Yucatan Peninsula from Chetumal to Puerto Costa Maya.

Far out in the Atlantic, Tropical Storm Martin was expected to strengthen into a hurricane Wednesday while posing no immediate threat to land.

Martin had maximum sustained winds of 65 mph (100 kph). It was centered about 755 miles (1,220 kilometers) east-northeast of Bermuda and moving to the east-northeast at 15 mph (24 kph).

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