Tropical storm returns as Hurricane Franklin to Mexico for second time in three days

Tropical storm returns as Hurricane Franklin to Mexico for second time in three days

Hurricane Franklin has roared ashore on Mexico's central Gulf coast, threatening to pound a mountainous region prone to flash floods and mudslides with torrential rains and heavy winds.

Franklin strengthened into the first hurricane of the Atlantic season on Wednesday and its landfall early on Thursday was its second on Mexican territory in three days.

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

Authorities in Veracruz cancelled classes at schools as a precautionary measure. Schools are frequently used as storm shelters in Mexico.

The US National Hurricane Centre said Franklin, a Category 1 storm, had maximum sustained winds of 85mph, but is expected to weaken as it moves inland.

Franklin's centre was about 70 miles north-north-west of the city of Veracruz and was heading west at nearly 13mph.

A hurricane warning is in effect for the coast from Veracruz city north to Cabo Rojo. A hurricane watch extends north from Cabo Rojo to Rio Panuco.

Mexico Civil Defence director Ricardo de la Cruz said on Tuesday that the storm's impact on Yucatan was not as bad as initially feared, with some trees down and power out in some areas, but he warned: "The second impact could even be stronger than the first."

Forecasters said Franklin could drop 4in to 8in of rain, with localised amounts of up to 15in.

AP

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