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Karl becomes major hurricane in Gulf

Forecasters predicting dangerous storm surge and life-threatening flash floods and mud slides as it reaches Mexico

MIAMI | September 17, 2010

"Rains could cause life-threatening flash floods and mud slides"

—Nautional Hurricane Center

Hurricane Karl strengthened into a major category three storm on Friday as it quickly approached the coast of Mexico, forecasters said.

As of 4.30 a.m. EDT, the center of Karl was located about 110 kilometers (70 miles) east-northeast of Veracruz in Mexico. Forecasters at the Miami-based National Hurricane Center said its maximums sustained winds have increased to 195 kilometers (120 miles) per hour, making it an extremely dangerous category three hurricane.

Hurricane force winds extend outward up to 35 kilometers (25 miles) from the center while tropical storm force winds extend outward up to 165 kilometers (105 miles) from the center, indicating that tropical storm conditions are already affecting parts of the Mexican coastline.

Forecasters are warning for a dangerous storm surge that is expected to generate large and destructive waves in the area. "Hurricane conditions are expected to begin by late this morning or early this afternoon," the center said.

Karl is also expected to produce rainfall accumulations of 5 to 10 inches across the central and southern Mexican Gulf Coast region, with isolated amounts of 15 inches possible in the Interior Mountains. "These rains could cause life-threatening flash floods and mud slides," the center warned.

(Copyright 2010 by BNO News B.V. All rights reserved.)

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