Tropical storm Darby reaches hurricane strength off Mexican coast

14:19, June 25, 2010      

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Mexicans dwelling along the country's southern coast were warned Thursday to prepare for the approaching Tropical Storm Darby which had reached hurricane strength earlier in the day.

State broadcasters issued the warning by saying that the tropical storm was picking up speed some 375 km off the coast of the southern Mexican state of Oaxaca.

The storm already has winds gusting up to 120 km per hour (kph), making it a Category One hurricane.

The state National Meteorology Service (SMN) is forecasting strong winds, choppy seas and torrential rains to affect Oaxaca and its adjacent state of Guerrero.

Nearby Mexican state of Jalisco continues to suffer from adverse conditions because of Hurricane Celia, now a Category Two hurricane, which is 1,150 km southwest of Jalisco's coastal town of Cihuatlan.

The SMN has said there is more than a 70-percent chance of heavy rains from the weather system, even though it is still at a distance from the coast.

The Pacific has seen an especially active hurricane season this year, with the first named storm, Agatha, striking before the official June 1 start of the hurricane season.

Agatha has killed 156 people in Guatemala and caused fewer deaths and lesser destruction in neighboring El Salvador and Honduras. The hurricane also dumped rains over southern Mexico without causing casualties.

Storms with wind velocity of between 56 km and 102 km per hour are rated as tropical storms while Category One and Category Two hurricanes are those with wind speeds of up to 104 kph and 135 kph.

Wind speeds of over 159 kph, 190 kph and 220 kph are declared Category Three, Four and Five major hurricanes respectively.

Source: Xinhua


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