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Hurricane Earl Threatens Belize

FILE - The beach front of Mahahual is seen as a hurricane approaches the southern part of the Yucatan peninsula, Aug. 7, 2012.

Hurricane warnings are out for the Belize-Guatemala border north to Puerto Costa Maya, Mexico, as Hurricane Earl moves westward in the Caribbean.

The Bay Islands of Honduras also are under a warning.

The National Hurricane Center in Miami upgraded Earl from a tropical storm to a Category 1 hurricane Wednesday afternoon when its winds reached hurricane strength of 120 kilometers per hour.

Forecasters expect the storm to weaken when it makes landfall in Belize Wednesday night or Thursday morning.

Some affected areas can expect as much as 40 centimeters of rain along with life-threatening flash floods, mud slides and damaging waves.