MEXICO CITY, June 28 (Xinhua) -- Tropical storm Alex, currently in the Gulf of Mexico, will trigger torrential rains in Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula and states close to the gulf, the National Meteorology Service (SMN) said Monday.
Alex killed five people in Nicaragua and two each in Guatemala and El Salvador during its weekend passage over Central America, according to media reports. Hundreds of people were evacuated from low-lying areas in El Salvador.
"Our forecasting models indicate that Alex will continue strengthening, reaching hurricane strength within the next 36 to 48 hours and will stick to the coast of Tamaulipas in the early hours of July 1," the SMN said.
The storm may also affect efforts to clear the massive Gulf of Mexico oil spill on the U.S. side of the Gulf of Mexico. Tamaulipas borders U.S. state Texas, and is close to Louisiana, the center of the spill, which might be spewing as much as 100,000 barrels of oil a day into the Gulf of Mexico.
Mexico's Pacific coast is also going to suffer high winds, torrential rains and fierce seas due to Tropical Depression Darby, currently approaching the coast of the southern Mexican state of Guerrero. The tropical depression, the weakest rung on the hurricane ladder, now has sustained winds 55 kph and gusts 75 kph.
This year's hurricane season has been unusually active with the first such storm, the Pacific's Hurricane Agatha, appearing before the June 1 official start of the season. Agatha struck Guatemala with most force, killing 156 people there. There were also deaths in Honduras and El Salvador and property damage in southern Mexico.