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Franklin weakens after heading further into mainland

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Life goes on in Mérida as tropical storm Franklin passes through on Tuesday. Photo: Hugo Borges / AFP / Getty Images

After briefly reaching hurricane status, Franklin this morning weakened to a tropical storm as it moved farther inland over eastern Mexico.

As a tropical storm, Franklin made a relatively mild run across the Yucatán Peninsula earlier in the week.

The storm’s impact on Yucatán was not as bad as initially feared, with some trees down and power out in some areas, said Mexico Civil Defense Director Ricardo de la Cruz.

By 1 a.m. today, Franklin made landfall a second time after crossing the Bay of Campeche toward Veracruz. At that point, Franklin was a Category 1 hurricane, the first of the Atlantic hurricane season, with winds at 85 mph.

The U.S. National Hurricane Center says Franklin’s maximum sustained winds later decreased to near 70 mph (113 kph) with additional weakening expected. The storm is expected to dissipate late today or early Friday.

But until then, the storm will risk mudslides and flash flooding as it hits the mountains of central Mexico, according to NOAA’s National Hurricane Center.

Rainfall totals of up to 8 inches with isolated maximum amounts of 15 inches are possible in Tabasco, northern Veracruz and northern Puebla, according to NOAA.

Franklin is centered about 75 miles/121 kilometers south of Tuxpan, and is moving a little south of west near 15 mph/24 kph toward Mexico City.

Public schools in Veracruz were ordered closed as a precautionary measure.

Sources: NOAA, ABC

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