Tropical Storm Hanna causes flooding in NE Mexico

Mexico City, Jul 26 (efe-epa).- Tropical Storm Hanna was downgraded Sunday afternoon to a tropical depression, although it is still causing flooding in several cities in northeastern Mexico and in the coming hours is predicted to bring torrential rains with winds of up to 90 kilometers per hour (56 mph) to the area, civil protection authorities reported.

The Miami-based National Hurricane Center downgraded Hanna as its winds lessened since its center is now over land, but the federal agency said that it will continue to bring heavy rain and “dangerous” flooding to southeastern Texas and northeastern Mexico.

So far, the city most affected by the passage of Hanna in Mexico has been Reynosa, in Tamaulipas state on the border with the US, where at least 20 neighborhoods have experienced flooding ranging from slight to severe, local authorities said.

In other cities in the states of Tamaulipas and Nuevo Leon, less serious flooding and ponding have been registered, although several streams and rivers have overflowed their banks due to the rain brought by Hanna, which moved over Mexican territory about midnight on Sunday morning after making landfall as a Category 1 hurricane in Texas.

Mexican state civil protection authorities so far have not reported any significant damage, injuries or worse from the rain and flooding.

The center of Hanna – which became the first hurricane of the Atlantic hurricane season – is located over land some 55 kilometers (34 miles) southwest of the large city of Monterrey, in Nuevo Leon state, the NHS reported in its most recent storm bulletin.

The NHC cancelled all hurricane or tropical storm advisories but said that tornadoes still may arise from it in Texas.

The storm is moving at 15 kph (9 mph) in a west-southwesterly direction packing maximum sustained winds of 85 kph (53 mph) with gusts of up to 100 kph (62 mph), the weather service said.

Hanna was downgraded to a tropical storm before moving over Mexican territory and is also bringing its rain and heavy winds to the states of Coahuila and San Luis Potosi.

Civil protection authorities warned that the storm’s downpours could cause rivers and streams to overflow, bringing flooding to low-lying areas and a storm surge of up to three meters (10 feet) along the coast of Tamaulipas, along with the possible formation of waterspouts offshore.

In the coming hours, Hanna will move in the direction of the city of Saltillo, where it will possibly be further downgraded to a tropical depression, and on Monday the forecast is for it to affect the state of Durango as “merely” a low pressure area.

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