Hurricane Lisa makes landfall in Belize, Central America

MEXICO CITY—Hurricane Lisa made landfall near Belize City in the Central American country of Belize on Wednesday and moved inland.

The U.S. National Hurricane Center said maximum sustained winds were 75 mph (120 kph) when Lisa made landfall. By late Wednesday, the epicenter of the storm was about 20 miles (30 km) west of Belize City, moving westward at 12 miles (19 km) per hour.

Belize’s National Emergency Management Authority said the storm had landed between the seaside town of Dangriga and Belize City.

“Everyone at home or in a shelter must remain in place until the state of emergency is lifted,” the National Emergency Management Organization said in a statement. “We were unable to dispatch a team to perform damage assessments or document hazard areas. Please stay where you are and wait.”

Ainar Gomez, assistant manager at Ramon’s Village Resort in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, off the coast of Belize, said light rain had started and a storm surge had set in.

“All guests in beachfront units have been moved to less exposed rooms and have beach furniture,” Gomez said. “

Lisa was expected to cross Belize into northern Guatemala and move to southeastern Mexico by Thursday.

The Hurricane Center warned of the danger of flooding and landslides from heavy rains. In Belize, the Gulf Islands, northern Guatemala, eastern Chiapas, Mexico and Tabasco, Mexico, the storm could bring 10 to 15 centimeters of rain, he said.

Hurricane warnings have been posted for Roatan and the other Bay Islands of Honduras, the northern coast of Belize, the southern coast of Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula, Chetumal and Puerto Costa Maya.

Lisa could reappear in the Gulf of Mexico, but as a tropical cyclone.

Far in the Atlantic Ocean, Tropical Storm Martin rose to hurricane strength on Wednesday, but forecasters said it posed no immediate threat to landfall.

Martin’s maximum sustained wind was 85 mph (140 km/h). Its center was about 720 miles (1,160 km) south-southeast of Cape Race, Newfoundland, moving east-northeast at 50 km/h.

Associated Press