Lisa, now a tropical storm, is heading towards Mexico after hitting Belize

Tropical storm Lisa heads for Mexico after stricken in Bélize


Lisa, downgraded to a tropical storm, was heading towards Mexico on Thursday after touching down in Belize the previous day where it caused flooding and property damage.

The Both Mexico and Belize have removed their weather warning after the ex-hurricane weakened, heading west at a speed of 16 km/h according to the National Hurricane Center (NHC).

Maximum wind speeds reduced to 75 km/h but forecasters warned that the Central American tourist coast and the Yucatan Peninsula should continue monitoring.

The storm is expected to weaken again to become a tropical depression by the end of the day before dissipating over Mexico.

Lisa is expected to bring heavy rain during the day to northern Guatemala and the southeast of Mexico, before gradually weakening penetrating inland.

The NHC has predicted that Lisa could bring up to 250 millimeters of rain to parts of Belize, northern Guatemala and southern Mexico.

In Guatemala, heavy rains caused flooding and landslides of land in the northern department of Peten on the border with Belize.

About 143 people were evacuated and 48 remained in a shelter, said Oscar Cossio, secretary of the National Coordination for Disaster Prevention (CONRED), during a press conference. Guatemala has also suspended classes in schools in the north of the country.

Lisa had entered the mainland at 9.20 p.m. GMT on Wednesday near the mouth of the Sibun River about 15 km southwest of Belize City, where AFP observed heavy rain and winds reaching 140 km/h according to the NHC, with flooded streets and toppled trees.

“It's very dangerous for us,” because in Belize “it floods quickly, even with moderate rain,” Jasmin Ayuso, a 21-year-old secretary, told AFP.

< p>In addition to issuing a red alert for Lisa along the entire coast, the government of Belize (population 405,000) had declared a state of emergency in two districts, with a curfew until Thursday at the dawn, schools closed and shelters opened.

Most businesses also remained closed and some areas were without power. Local media showed damage in Belize City, the country's former capital located on the north coast, and in other nearby towns.

In Honduras, due to the passage of Lisa in tropical storm Tuesday, the authorities had established an alert for islands and a northern region, alert finally lifted.

El Salvador, which should be relatively spared, however put on alert more than one twenty municipalities where risks of flooding or landslides have been identified.

Lisa arrives three weeks after Category 1 hurricane Julia swept through the region, causing around a hundred victims, including half drowned in Honduras, and the rest buried by landslides in Guatemala and El Salvador.

According to the NHC, this is the twelfth named storm this season — hurricane season is about to from June to November in the Atlantic. To get a name, a storm must provide winds of at least 63 km/h. Last year's season saw 21 storms given names.