MEXICO CITY, June 19 Tropical Storm Barry, the
second of the Atlantic Hurricane season, churned toward Mexico
on Wednesday, threatening to bring heavy rains to key oil and
power installations near the country's Gulf coast.
The Minatitlan oil refinery of state oil monopoly Pemex
and the Laguna Verde nuclear power plant, both in
Veracruz state, are being monitored closely, said Noemi Zoila,
head of the local government's emergency services.
The nearby Coatzacoalcos coastal oil export terminal, one of
the most important for Pemex, is also in the path of the storm
and was expected to be shut down by 7:00 p.m. local time.
Mexico's two other major oil export hubs, Cayo Arcas and Dos
Bocas, were closed earlier on Wednesday due to heavy rain and
Barry was located about 75 miles (120 km) east-northeast of
the port of Veracruz, moving at 10 miles per hour (16 km per
hour) as it approached land, the U.S. National Hurricane Center
The storm's maximum sustained winds stood at 40 mph (65
kph), the center added.
The biggest impact is expected to be felt in southern and
central parts of Veracruz state late on Wednesday night and
early Thursday morning, said local emergency services spokesman
Escalera added that the storm could cross Pemex's
installations as well as hydroelectric dams. He said the state
is prepared to offer temporary shelter to up to 500,000 people.
The first tropical storm of the 2013 Atlantic Hurricane
season, Andrea, formed in the Gulf of Mexico on June 5 and moved
up towards Florida, Georgia and North Carolina.