Tropical Storm Arlene, the first cyclone of the 2011 Atlantic storm season, made landfall today on the Gulf Coast of Mexico, according to the National Hurricane Center.
The storm is moving toward the west at a speed of almost 8 miles (13 kilometers) per hour, the Miami-based agency said in an advisory at 7 a.m. central daylight time.
The Mexican government issued a hurricane warning for the east coast from Barra de Nautla northward to La Cruz, the center said. The storm is about 45 miles north of Tuxpan, Mexico, with maximum sustained winds at near 65 mph, it said.
“Arlene is expected to continue moving inland over mainland Mexico today.” A storm becomes a hurricane when winds reach 74 mph.
“Weakening is forecast today, and Arlene is expected to dissipate on Friday,” the center said. “The hurricane warning will likely be discontinued later this morning.”
About 200,000 people spread across the states of Veracruz, Tamaulipas, Hidalgo, Puebla, Queretaro and San Luis Potosi are vulnerable to the impacts of Arlene, according to a statement posted on the website of Mexico’s Interior Ministry.
In Veracruz, Governor Javier Duarte de Ochoa asked for the central government to declare a state of emergency in order to access disaster funding, according to a statement on the state website.