MIAMI - The Mexican government has issued a hurricane warning on its southern Pacific coast for an approaching tropical storm that threatens to gain strength, the U.S. National Hurricane Center said Wednesday.
Tropical Storm Barbara is on its way to strike the Gulf of Tehuantepec later in the day, the Miami-based NHC said.
At 1200 GMT, Barbara was about 115 kilometers (70 miles) south of Salina Cruz, Mexico, packing maximum sustained winds of 100 kilometers (65 miles) per hour.
The storm was moving towards the north-east at 13 kilometers (8 miles) per hour but gaining strength and expected to make landfall later in the day, the NHC said.
"Barbara is forecast to become a hurricane before it reaches the coast," the NHC warned.
Tropical storm force winds extend outward up to 110 kilometers (70 miles) of the storm's center, the NHC said.
Barbara is forecast to produce total rain accumulation of up to eight inches over parts of the Mexican states of Oaxaca and Chiapas, "with isolated maximum amounts of 12 inches possible" in southeastern Oaxaca.
"These rains could cause life-threatening flash floods and mud slides," the NHC warned.
Tropical storm conditions "are expected to reach the coast within the warning area this morning, making outside preparations difficult or dangerous."
Once the storm moves inland, however, it is forecast to weaken, and "Barbara is expected to dissipate within the next day or so," the NHC said.
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