MEXICO – Franklin, a category 1 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson scale, made landfall Wednesday night in the Mexican state of Veracruz, according to the Mexican national weather bureau (SMN).
Franklin, the first hurricane of the 2017 Atlantic season, was earlier classified as a tropical storm, but strengthened as it travelled through the Gulf of Mexico.
In a bulletin released at 10:15 pm, SMN said the hurricane is expected to make landfall in Nautla, Vega de Alatorre, Palma Sola and Laguna Verde.
At the time, Franklin was 60 kilometers (37 miles) to the east of Nautla, 65 kilometers to the east-northeast of Vega de Alatorre and 110 kilometers to the north of Veracruz, while moving westwards at 20 kilometers per hour (12.5 miles per hour).
It was accompanied by maximum sustained winds of 140 kilometers per hour, with gusts up to 160 kilometers per hour.
According to the forecast, the hurricane will reach the north of Puebla state as a tropical storm at 7 am Thursday, with winds of 65 kilometers per hour, and gusts of 85 kilometers per hour.
The bureau also forecasts storms and rainfall of more than 250 millimeters in Veracruz and Puebla, intense storms and torrential rainfall in the states of Hidalgo, Tamaulipas, San Luis Potosi, Nayarit, Tabasco, Oaxaca and Chiapas, and intense storms in Queretaro, Tlaxcala, State of Mexico, Guerrero, Campeche and Yucatan.
In Veracruz, gusts over 80 kilometers per hour and 4 to 8 meter (13 to 26 feet) high waves are expected, while in Tamaulipas, Tabasco and Campeche, gusts over 60 kilometers and waves ranging 1 to 3 meters are predicted.
SMN warned people not to venture out to the sea and to follow weather advisories in each state.
Meanwhile, the Secretariat of the Interior has declared an emergency in 70 municipalities of Veracruz and allocated relief funds.
More than 8,000 troops and 3,000 shelters are ready for the second impact of Franklin on Mexican soil, after it crossed the Yucatan Peninsula Tuesday without causing serious damage.