Katia weakens to a tropical depression as it moves into Mexico

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While Category 5 Hurricane Irma is now ransacking the Caribbean and posing a threat to Florida this weekend, those in Mexico may also experience a major weather disturbance with the arrival of Hurricane Katia. More than 60 people were killed, at last count.

The state government now says 15 people died there due to Thursday night's magnitude 8.1 quake, in addition to 45 reported dead in Oaxaca and four in Tabasco. 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 says the storm was centered about 130 miles (210 kilometers) north of the port of Veracruz and it seems headed for strike early Saturday in an area known as the Emerald Coast that is popular with Mexican tourists.

The storm has deluged the mountainous region in Veracruz, which has a history of deadly floods and mudslides.

Hurricanes Katia, Irma, and Jose, seen by satellite on Sept. 6 2017
Hurricanes Katia, Irma, and Jose, seen by satellite on Sept. 6

Luis Felipe Puente, head of Mexico's national emergency services, said this week that Katia has "worrying characteristics" because it is very slow-moving and could dump a lot of rain on areas that have been saturated in recent weeks.

Hurricane Katia weakened into a Tropical Storm as it moved more into Mexico early Saturday morning, the National Hurricane Center said.

By Saturday afternoon, the hurricane is expected to be downgraded to a tropical storm.

Almost 2,900 people have been evacuated from their homes in Veracruz, and 1,500 more relocated to storm shelters in the neighboring Puebla state, AP reports.

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