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Hurricane Franklin makes landfall on Mexico's coast

Hurricane Franklin has roared ashore on Mexico's central Gulf coast, threatening to pound a mountainous region prone to flash floods and mudslides with torrential rain and heavy winds.

Franklin strengthened into the first hurricane of the Atlantic season on Wednesday and its landfall as a Category 1 storm early on Thursday was its second on Mexican territory in three days.

As a tropical storm, Franklin made a relatively mild run across the Yucatan Peninsula earlier in the week.

Authorities in Veracruz ordered classes cancelled at public schools as a precautionary measure. Schools are frequently used as storm shelters in Mexico.

The US National Hurricane Centre said Franklin later weakened to a tropical storm on Thursday morning with maximum sustained winds near 70mph.

Additional weakening was forecast and Franklin was expected to dissipate by late Thursday or early Friday.

Franklin's centre was about 75 miles south of Tuxpan, Mexico, and the storm was moving a little south of west near 15mph.

Mexico Civil Defence director Ricardo de la Cruz said that the storm's impact on Yucatan was not as bad as initially feared, with some trees down and power out in some areas.

But he warned "the second impact could even be stronger than the first".

Forecasters said Franklin could drop 4in to 8in of rain, with localised amounts of up to 15in.

AP

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