(Recasts lead, adds updated position and wind speeds)
MEXICO CITY, Aug 17 Tropical Storm Helene formed
in the southwestern Gulf of Mexico on Friday and pushed close to
the coast of Mexico's Veracruz state, the U.S. National
Hurricane Center said.
Located about 65 miles (105 kilometres) east of Tuxpan,
Mexico, Helene was packing maximum sustained winds of 40 miles
per hour (65 kph), the NHC said in its bulletin at 10 p.m. CDT
(0300 GMT Saturday).
The center of Helene will make landfall on Saturday, the NHC
A tropical storm warning was issued for a stretch of
Mexico's Gulf coast from Barra de Nautla to La Cruz.
There were no reports of the tropical storm affecting the
Gulf of Mexico's oil installations, which are built to resist
much more powerful hurricanes.
Last week, Hurricane Ernesto hit Mexico, unleashing rains
and winds that caused six deaths.
(Reporting by NR Sethuraman and Ioan Grillo; Editing by Gary
Hill, Jim Marshall and Eric Beech)