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Hurricane Paula forms over the northwestern Caribbean, aims for Mexico's Cancun

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Hurricane Paula forms over the northwestern Caribbean, aims for Mexico's Cancun

2010-10-12 15:57:24 GMT+7 (ICT)

MIAMI (BNO NEWS) -- Hurricane Paula formed in the northwestern Caribbean on early Tuesday morning, forecasters said, making it the ninth hurricane of the 2010 Atlantic hurricane season.

As of 5 a.m. EDT (0900 GMT) on Tuesday, the center of Paula was located about 370 kilometers (230 miles) south-southeast of Cozumel, Mexico. It is moving toward the northwest near 17 kilometers (10 miles) per hour.

"A turn toward the north-northwest and north is expected later today and Wednesday," said the U.S. National Hurricane Center. "On the forecast track, the center of Paula will approach the east coast of the Yucatan peninsula within the hurricane warning area tonight and Wednesday."

A hurricane warning has been issued for the coast of Mexico from Punta Gruesa northward to Cabo Catoche, including Cancun and Cozumel. Additionally, a tropical storm warning has been issued from Chetumal northward to south of Punta Gruesa, and from Cabo Catoche to San Felipe in Mexico.

In Honduras, a tropical storm warning is in effect for the coast of Limon eastward to the Honduras-Nicaragua border, including the Bay Islands.

Paula's maximum sustained winds were near 120 kilometers (75 miles) per hour, with higher gusts. "Paula is a category one hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson hurricane wind scale. Additional strengthening is possible during the next day or two," the Miami-based center added.

Currently, the National Hurricane Center said, hurricane force winds extend outward up to 20 kilometers (10 miles) from the center, and tropical storm force winds extend outward up to 95 kilometers (60 miles).

The hurricane is expected to produce total rain accumulations of 3 inches (7.6 centimeters) to 6 inches (15.2 centimeters) over northern Belize, eastern portions of the Yucatan peninsula, and portions of western and central Cuba. Isolated maximum amounts of 10 inches (25.4 centimeters) are possible.

In areas of mountainous terrain, rains could cause life-threatening flash floods and mud slides.

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-- © BNO News All rights reserved 2010-10-12

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