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Hurricane Lisa makes landfall in Belize in Central America

Hurricane Lisa made landfall Wednesday near Belize City in the Central American nation of Belize, and moved inland.

The U.S. National Hurricane Center said Lisa had maximum sustained winds of 75 mph (120 kph) at landfall. By late Wednesday the storm’s center was about 20 miles (30 kilometers) west of Belize City and moving west at 12 mph (19 kph).

Belize’s National Emergency Management Organization said the storm came ashore between the beach town of Dangriga and Belize City.

“Everyone at home or in shelters need to remain in place until the State of Emergency has been lifted,” the national emergency management organization said in a statement. “We have not been able to send teams to do damage assessments or record any hazardous areas. Please remain where you are, and please have patience.”

Einer Gomez, the assistant manager at Ramon’s Village Resort in San Pedro on Ambergris Caye, just off the coast of Belize, said a light rain had started to fall and there was some storm surge.

“All the guests that are in the beachfront units have been relocated” to less exposed rooms, and beach furniture had been secured, Gomez said. “Everyone is just waiting for it too pass.” 

Lisa was forecast to cross Belize into northern Guatemala and then move into southeastern Mexico by Thursday.

The hurricane center warned of the danger of flooding and mudslides from heavy rains. It said the storm could drop 4 to 6 inches (10 to 15 centimeters) of rain on Belize, the Bay Islands, northern Guatemala, the eastern portion of Mexico’s Chiapas state and the Mexican state of Tabasco.

A hurricane warning was posted for Roatan island and the other Bay Islands of Honduras as well as the coast of Belize north and the southern coast of Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula from Chetumal to Puerto Costa Maya.

Lisa could re-emerge into the Gulf of Mexico, but as a tropical depression.

Far out in the Atlantic, Tropical Storm Martin rose to hurricane strength Wednesday, but forecasters said it posed no immediate threat to land. 

Martin had maximum sustained winds of 85 mph (140 kph). It was centered about 720 miles (1,160 kilometers) south-southeast of Cape Race, Newfoundland, and moving to the east-northeast at 31 mph (50 kph).