Hurricane Earl has made landfall near Belize City as it continues to move west over the Caribbean.
The National Hurricane Center in Miami says the Category 1 storm touched down in the Central American nation carrying winds of 130 kilometers an hour. Earl is expected to weaken as it moves across central or northern Belize, and then over southern Mexico or northern Guatemala over the next several hours.
Hurricane warnings are in effect for Puerto Coast Maya, Mexico southward to the Belize-Guatemala border, while a tropical storm warning remains in effect for parts of Mexico's eastern coast.
Authorities in the southeastern Mexican coastal state of Quintana Roo, located north of Earl's predicted path, have evacuated residents due to fears of flooding and housed them in emergency shelters.
The National Hurricane Center says some affected areas can expect as much as 40 centimeters of rain along with life-threatening flash floods, mud slides and damaging waves.