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Earl’s worst bypasses Yucatán

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Conagua satellite imagery overnight shows Hurricane Earl slamming Belize.
Conagua satellite imagery overnight shows Hurricane Earl slamming Belize.

“Blue skies, light breeze, and verrrry humid right now,” was one report on social media from a Mérida expat assuring his friends that Earl had bypassed his part of the Peninsula.

Early this morning the Associated Press reported that the hurricane had centered itself on Belize, 120 kilometers south of Chetumal, Quintana Roo.

Hurricane Earl made landfall last night near Belize City with maximum sustained winds near 80 mph (130 kph).

Earl was expected to begin weakening after moving ashore. The National Hurricane Center says heavy rains will be a danger in southern Mexico through Saturday as Earl crosses the Yucatán Peninsula and the states of Tabasco and Veracruz.

Weather Channel image taken at 4 a.m. Thursday, Aug. 4.
Weather Channel image taken at 4 a.m. Thursday, Aug. 4.

On Wednesday, a big wave reportedly capsized a lobster fishing boat in the Caribbean, but all but two of the 83 people on board were rescued. Authorities also rescued four families in the coastal city of Trujillo, Honduras, after a river flooded.

In Belize, the government opened storm shelters and urged residents of low-lying areas to move to higher ground.

And in Yucatán state, the governor announced preventive measures, mainly in the south. Schools were reviewed as potential storm shelters, and the Army and the Navy were called on to reinforce surveillance patrols where the storm hit the hardest.

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