Hurricane Katia slams into Mexico's Veracruz state

Katia lands at Veracruz as a Category 1

The forecasters are expecting to see the hurricane move slowly towards the Mexican coast on Friday, Sept. 8, before making a landfall on Saturday, Sept. 9.

According to the latest update from the National Hurricane Center, Hurricane Katia now has maximum sustained winds near 90 miles per hour, and some additional strengthening is forecast over the next day. A Tropical Storm Warning is also in effect from Rio Panuco to Puerto Veracruz. As of early Saturday morning, Katia was about 185 km west northwest of the Gulf Coast port of Veracruz, the NHC said.

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The official added that the storm had left some 70,000 people without electricity and caused damage in 53 of the Gulf state's 212 municipalities, Reuters reports. It rapidly weakened further over land into a tropical storm.

Mr Luis Felipe Puente, head of Mexico's national emergency services, has said that Katia had "worrying characteristics", as it was very slow-moving and could dump a lot of rain on areas that have been saturated in recent weeks.

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Mexico is dealing with the aftermath of a huge quake that struck on Thursday night, and President Enrique Pena Nieto said on Friday that Katia could be especially risky in hillsides rocked by the magnitude 8.1 tremor.

The death toll from Thursday's massive quake off the coast of southern Mexico rose to 61 Saturday as emergency responders scrambled to clear debris, restore power and provide housing for thousands of displaced people in one of the country's poorest and most remote regions. At the same time, Irma strengthened back into a Category 5 storm Friday night, after weakening to a Category 4 earlier in the day.

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While Category 5 Hurricane Irma is now ransacking the Caribbean and posing a threat to Florida this weekend, those in Mexico may also experience a major weather disturbance with the arrival of Hurricane Katia.

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