(Updates to show storm makes landfall, updates storms'
MEXICO CITY, Sept 2 Tropical storm Dolly lashed
Mexico's northeast coast on Tuesday night, the U.S. National
Hurricane Center (NHC) said, bringing torrential rain and life
threatening flash floods.
Dolly was blowing maximum sustained winds of 45 miles per
hour (72 km per hour), but having made landfall the storm was
expected to lose strength by Wednesday evening, NHC said.
Dolly, which formed in the southern Gulf of Mexico early on
Tuesday, has already forced the closure of two of Mexico's three
major crude oil export terminals.
According to national water authority Conagua it was
whipping up waves of up to 4 meters (13 feet) along the coast.
State oil giant Pemex said in a statement that it
was watching Dolly's progress and if needed it would suspend its
operations in the eastern states of Veracruz and Tamaulipas,
including the Francisco Madero refinery, the country's smallest.
Cayo Arcas port had been shut since Sunday afternoon while
the Dos Bocas hub was closed early on Monday, the Communications
and Transport Ministry said. Mexico's third major oil export
terminal at Coatzacoalcos remained open.
Dolly, the fourth named storm of the 2014 Atlantic hurricane
season, was about 25 miles (40 km) south-southeast of Tampico in
northeastern Tamaulipas state, the NHC said.
Dolly was moving west at 9 mph, the NHC said. The storm is
expected to bring up to 15 inches (38 cm) of rain across areas
of Tamaulipas and Nuevo Leon states.
"This rainfall is expected to cause life-threatening flash
floods and mud slides in areas of mountainous terrain," the NHC
Meanwhile, Tropical Storm Norbert formed on Tuesday off
southwestern Mexico, and was about 320 miles (515 km) southeast
of the southern tip of the Baja California peninsula, the NHC
Norbert was headed further out to sea, churning
north-northwest at 8 mph (13 kph), the NHC said, blowing maximum
sustained winds of 45 mph. The NHC expected it to reach
hurricane strength on Thursday.
Mexico suffered its worst floods on record last September
when tropical storms Manuel and Ingrid converged from the
Pacific and the Gulf of Mexico, killing more than 150 people and
causing damage estimated at around $6 billion.
(Reporting by David Alire Garcia and Gabriel Stargardter in
Mexico City and Debasis Mohapatra in Bangalore; Editing by Lisa
Shumaker and Simon Cameron-Moore)