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Ernesto: Canadians advised not to travel

Ernesto is forecast to affect Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula
Ernesto is forecast to affect Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula

Staff writers

August 8, 2012 — Canadians warned to stay away from Yucatan Peninsula as Ernesto moves through the region.

Ernesto's Forecast Track
Ernesto's Forecast Track

The Foreign Affairs Department is advising Canadians against non-essential travel to the east coast of the Yucatan Peninsula because of Tropical Storm Ernesto. 

A warning issued by the department covers the peninsula from Chetumal, Mexico, northward to Tulum, including the island of Cozumel. 

Ernesto made landfall overnight as a hurricane just before midnight late Tuesday night. It had sustained winds of 140 km/h when it swept over the shore town of Mahuahal and then moved into a sparsely populated coastal region. 

Early Wednesday morning Ernesto weakened into a Tropical Storm, but will still boast powerful winds as its centre emerges over the Bay of Campeche. 

Officials are concerned the storm's heavy rains and strong winds are likely to affect transportation routes and telecommunication systems. There could also be flooding and mudslides. 

The department says other services that may be affected include emergency and medical care, as well as water and food supplies. 

Ernesto strengthened from a tropical storm earlier Tuesday, and the U.S. National Hurricane Center said it had winds of 129 kilometres an hour by late afternoon that day. By Wednesday, wind speeds were down to a weaker, but still powerful, 72 kilometres an hour.

With files from The Associated Press

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