Tropical storm Dolly threatens northern Mexico and Texas

The northern Mexican state of Tamaulipas was preparing for the worst Tuesday as tropical storm Dolly shifted northward from the Yucatan Penninsula, the dpa reported.

Monday the storm was moving north-west over the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico, the Miami-based National Hurricane Centre (NHC) said. A hurricane watch has been issued for part of the coast of the US state of Texas and for the Mexican coast north of San Fernando to the US border.

Meteorologists said that the storm could build to a hurricane by Wednesday and hit land on the boarder area of the US and Mexico.

"The storm is not expected to affect US oil and natural gas operations in the Gulf," Bloomberg news agency quoted AccuWeather.com forecaster Kate Wortring as saying Monday.

Petroleos Mexicanos, the third-largest oil supplier to the US, said its workers would stay put as the storm was likely to pass north of its drilling platforms.

In the north-eastern Mexican state of Tamaulipas, heavy rain, flooding and overflowing rivers damaged the property of thousands of people, Monday. Some 130,000 people are preparing for a hurricane

Felix Arturo Gonzalez Canto, governor of the state of Quintana Roo, decreed a red alert late Sunday as news came in of the advancing storm. Twelve units of emergency accommodation were set up.

Currently tropical storm Genevieve is moving in a westerly direction along the Mexican coast bringing heavy rainfall in the southern state of Guerrero, Michoacan and Colima. Hurricanes are particularly dangerous with the heavy rain because of the risk from flooding and mudslides. In Guerrero eight people have drowned, according to public statements.

Dolly was moving more slowly Tuesday at 20 kilometres-per-hour in a northwesterly direction headed for the coast of the Gulf of Mexico. The eye of the storm was building winds up to 100 kilometres-per- hour. Experts expect the storm could reach hurricane force as it hits land.

The hurricane season in the Atlantic officially lasts from June 1 to November 30, and experts were expecting 15-20 storms over this period. Dolly is the fourth tropical storm of the current season.

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