UpdateErnesto becomes hurricane, threatens Mexico

07 August 2012 19:28  [Source: ICIS news]

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HOUSTON (ICIS)--Ernesto has become a hurricane as it approaches Mexico's Yucatan peninsula, meteorologists said on Tuesday.

As of 14:00 hours Miami time (18:00 GMT), Hurricane Ernesto was about 185 miles (298 km) east of Chetumal, Mexico, according to the National Hurricane Center in the US.

Maximum sustained wind speeds were 80 miles/hour, the centre said. Ernesto was moving west northwest at 14 miles/hour.

Hurricane Ernesto could make landfall tonight on the Yucatan peninsula, the centre said. It will likely reach the Bay of Campeche on Wednesday.

State energy producer Pemex has several petrochemical plants in and around the Bay of Campeche, including the Pajaritos, Morelos, Cosoleacaque and La Cangrejera complexes. The Minatitlan refinery is also near the bay.

Already, Pemex has held its first briefing about Ernesto, in accordance with the company's hurricane emergency response plan.

Additional reporting by Bobbie Clark

By: Al Greenwood
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