Hurricane Katia expected to strengthen as it nears Mexico

People in Veracruz before the arrival of Storm Katia

People in Veracruz before the arrival of Storm Katia

Mexico is dealing with the aftermath of a huge quake that struck on Thursday night, and President Enrique Pena Nieto said on Friday that Katia could be especially unsafe in hillsides rocked by the magnitude 8.1 tremor.

The storm originally made landfall just north of Tecolutla, Mexico Friday night as a Category 1 hurricane with 75 miles per hour winds.

Katia transitioned from a tropical storm to a hurricane on Wednesday afternoon, and was a Category 2 hurricane as of 4 p.m. Friday, with sustained wind speeds of 105 miles per hour. By Friday, the government said it had brought all 1,800 or so of its residents to its sister island to weather the impending storm.

Katia made landfall as a hurricane late Friday (Sept. 8) north of Tecolutla, the National Hurricane Center said.

Mexico is also dealing with the aftermath of a powerful natural disaster on Thursday night.

Katia formed in the Gulf of Mexico on Wednesday, as the powerful Hurricane Irma moved on its destructive path through the Caribbean with Hurricane Jose not far behind.

Hurricane Irma, one of the most powerful Atlantic storms in a century, walloped Cuba's northern coast on Saturday as it headed for Florida. Katia was initially measured as a Category 1 storm with 75 miles per hour winds - far less powerful than Irma, which is quickly approaching Florida, and Jose which remains farther out in the Atlantic Ocean. It was nearing nearing Category 5 strength as it churned about 97 km east of the Northern Leeward Islands early on Saturday morning.

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