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Nicaragua, Honduras Prepare for Hurricane Felix


Thousands of people have begun to evacuate Caribbean coastal areas of Honduras and Nicaragua in advance of Hurricane Felix, a dangerous storm on course to hit Central America Tuesday morning.

At last report Monday night, Felix had 215-kilometer per hour winds as it moved on a westerly course. The storm's center was 325 kilometers east of Cabo Gracias a Dios on the Nicaragua - Honduras border.

Hurricane warnings are in effect between the Honduran city of Limon and the Nicaraguan city of Puerto Cabezas. Hurricane watches are also posted for other parts of the Honduran and Nicaraguan coasts as well as Belize. Forecasters warn rain from Felix could trigger flash floods and mudslides.

Felix's predicted path is similar to that of Hurricane Mitch, a 1998 storm that killed thousands of people in Central America.

Meanwhile, forecasters report Tropical Storm Henriette is nearing hurricane strength as it heads for Mexico's Baja California peninsula.

A hurricane warning is in effect for parts of Baja California.

Monday night, Henriette was 315 kilometers south of the tip of Baja California with winds near 110 kilometers per hour. The U.S. National Hurricane Center said Henriette could reach hurricane strength late Monday or Tuesday.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.