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Tropical storm strengthens on path to hit Central America

by Staff Writers
Miami (AFP) Oct 22, 2010
Tropical Storm Richard strengthened as it churned toward the Honduran coast Friday as the latest in a series of storms to affect the region, forecasters said.

Richard, the 17th named storm of the season, was on a path to brush Honduras and possibly move over Belize and Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula, the US-based National Hurricane Center said.

At 2100 GMT, Richard was some 130 miles (210 kilometers) east of the Honduras-Nicaragua border, packing sustained winds of 45 miles (75 kilometers) per hour.

Richard could intensify and become a hurricane over the weekend, the center said.

A hurricane watch was in effect along with a tropical storm warning from the Honduras-Nicaragua border to the Honduran city of Limon.

"Interests elsewhere in the northwestern Caribbean Sea should monitor the progress of Richard," the hurricane center said.

On its forecast track, Richard is expected to dump rain on northern Honduras and Belize as well as parts of Nicaragua and Guatemala, then strike Mexico's Yucatan peninsula.

In mid-October, the small but powerful Hurricane Paula drenched Mexico's resort-dotted Yucatan Peninsula before churning toward Cuba. The storm caused no serious damage, Mexican civil protection officials said.

However, any more rain raised the troubling prospect of renewed flooding in already waterlogged Central America and Mexico after weeks of devastation from heavy rains.

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Tropical storm 'expected to intensify' in Caribbean
Miami (AFP) Oct 21, 2010
A tropical storm which formed in the southwestern Caribbean on Thursday could reach hurricane status and strike the storm-battered Yucatan Peninsula, US forecasters warned. Tropical Storm Richard is the 17th named storm of the season, the Miami-based National Hurricane Center said in its 0000 GMT advisory. Richard was some 230 miles (375 kilometers) southeast of Grand Cayman and 190 mile ... read more

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