World News

Tropical storm Nana upgraded to hurricane as it sweeps towards Belize

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Tropical storm Nana has strengthened into a hurricane, the U.S. National Hurricane Center (NHC) said on Wednesday, warning it will bring dangerous storm surges when it makes landfall overnight before it weakens.

The hurricane is also expected to lash parts of Guatemala and Mexico with tropical storm conditions after making landfall in Belize. Some Honduran islands may also be impacted.

By 0300 GMT, Nana was about 95 kilometers (60 miles) southeast of Belize City with maximum sustained winds of 75 miles per hour (120 km per hour), NHC said in an advisory.

Describing Nana as a “small hurricane”, it issued a hurricane warning for the coast of Belize, from Belize City southward to the country’s border with Guatemala.

Warning that Belize could see up to 8 inches of rain, NHC also said a dangerous storm surge will raise water levels by as much as three feet along the coast where the center of the hurricane makes landfall.

“Near the coast, the surge will be accompanied by large and destructive waves,” NHC said.

It also forecast that tropical storm conditions, including flash flooding, would hit parts of Belize, as well as Guatemala and Mexico’s Yucatan peninsula by evening.

The eastern edges of Veracruz and Oaxaca states in Mexico could register up to 8 inches of rain.

“These rainfall amounts may produce life threatening flash floods and mudslides,” NHC said.

Reporting by Daina Beth Solomon in Mexico City and Gustavo Palencia in Honduras; Editing by Drazen Jorgic and Ana Nicolaci da Costa