Just as then-Hurricane Earl was making landfall early Thursday morning in Belize, the Category 1 storm was reduced to a tropical storm, Weather.com reported. However, the 80 mph winds caused by the storm are having quite an impact on the Central American country.
The storm's gusty winds, heavy rain and surge flooding has caused Belize to experience caused major power outages.
Although "Hurricane" Earl has already started to die down as it was gaining traction in Belize’s countryside, the country is still expected to get about a foot of rainfall as the storm moves on to the southern Yucatan Peninsula or towards Guatemala later Thursday. Honduras, Guatemala and the Yucatan peninsula of Mexico are predicted to get between eight and 12 inches of rain.
As per CNN, The National Hurricane Center in Miami revealed the Category 1 storm is pushing west at 14 mph (23 kph), resulting in hurricane warnings issued in Puerto Costa Maya, Mexico south to the Belize – Guatemala boarder. Tropical storm warnings have been put in place North of Puerto Costa Maya up to Punta Allen, Mexico.
Despite being reduced to a tropical storm, Earl is expected to still cause damage as it moves along. Flooding and landslides in higher terrain areas of Belize is also expected while certain areas of Mexico could receive up to 18 inches of rain, which could result in life-threatening flash floods and mudslides.
Earl is the first hurricane to make landfall in Belize in almost exactly four years (Hurricane Ernesto hit the country Aug. 7, 2012).
Twitter users have been sharing pictures of how the storm has affected Belize while others have been tweeting out prayers and well.