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Tropical storm watch issued for Belize as storm approaches

By Marion Ali, Assistant Editor

A tropical storm watch has been issued for the Belize, Orange Walk and Corozal districts, as potential cyclone 7 could become named storm Franklin before it makes landfall late Monday.

The National Emergency Management Organization (NEMO) in its latest advisory this evening, said people should start taking necessary steps to protect life and property. Fishermen and people in the cayes are urged to do the same and to take note of the warning. Farmers are also urged to protect animals and crops, and people living in or near flood-prone areas are urged to seek shelter at places designated as such, or with family or friends in safe areas.

Weather models suggest the system will cross somewhere over the Yucatan peninsula, bringing with it heavy rains and tropical storm force winds. This will likely cause flash-flooding in areas that are low lying and near rivers.

The US National Hurricane Center (NHC) in Miami upgraded the tropical wave, known as Invest 90L to PTC 7 tonight, stating that the new potential tropical cyclone packs easterly winds of around 30-35 mph, extending across a broad area north of the system. The NHC placed the center of this broad low-level circulation about 90 miles east of the northeast tip of Honduras at 5:00 p.m., this evening. The system is moving west-northwest at about 15 mph.

“There are strong signals that the wave will become a tropical storm before it moves west-northwest into the coast of Belize or Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula late Monday. The wave is heading into a part of the far northwest Caribbean with unusually deep warm water,” NHC warned this evening.

Meanwhile, in light of the approaching storm, the Ministry of Education has postponed the professional development workshops scheduled for tomorrow in the Corozal, Orange Walk and Belize districts.

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