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Nate hits US Gulf as category 1 hurricane

8 October 2017 2:56 AM
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Hurricane Nate has made landfall on the Gulf Coast of the United States, packing sustained winds of more than 135km/h.

The Category 1 storm delivered hurricane-force winds from the eastern Louisiana coast to the Florida Panhandle.

The landfall occurred at the mouth of the Mississippi River, south of low-lying New Orleans, Louisiana.

After passing over the river delta, Nate's eye crossed north over Chandeleur Sound ahead of a second landfall expected overnight on the Gulf Coast near Gulfport, Mississippi.

The fast-moving storm averaged an unprecedented 45km/h as it sped north across the Gulf of Mexico after striking Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula.

But it slowed late on Saturday to about 32km/h and was forecast to carve a path gradually north-eastward Sunday across Mississippi, Alabama and into Tennessee.

US President Donald Trump urged Gulf Coast residents to be safe and heed storm warnings, and said the US Federal Emergency Management Agency was ready.

New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu imposed a curfew overnight on Saturday.

The Louisiana city, which was devastated by Hurricane Katrina in 2005, is at risk of flooding, though New Orleans officials are optimistic that the pump system will be able to handle Nate's precipitation.

Nate, which has killed at least 26 people in Costa Rica, Nicaragua and Honduras, is the fourth major hurricane to sweep up from the Caribbean Sea this year.

Nate's heavy rain caused flooding and mudslides in Central America. In addition to the dead, dozens remain missing, authorities said.


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