PUERTO BARRIOS, Guatemala, (Pakistan Point News - APP - 4th August, 2016) - A hurricane packing 130 kilometer (80 mile) per hour winds and heavy rain made landfall in Central America near Belize's capital, where officials warned of likely flooding and damage to homes Thursday. Earl swept in from the Caribbean at hurricane strength to strike just south of Belize City, population 60,000, around midnight Wednesday (0600 GMT Thursday), according to the US National Hurricane Center (NHC).
The storm weakened as it moved inland, and by 1200 GMT the NHC had downgraded it from a hurricane to a tropical storm with 65 mile (105 kilometer) per hour winds. Belize's National Emergency Management Organization had warned of a threat of flash floods and mudslides and flooding in low-lying areas. Eight to 12 inches (200 to 300 millimeters) of rainfall were forecast for Belize, Guatemala, and southern Mexico through Friday. Airports in the area were closed.