Deadly weather system strengthens, now Hurricane Earl

Hurricane Earl track as of 4 p.m. Wednesday. (NOAA)

MIAMI (AP/KXAN) – A weather system that already has caused at least six deaths in the Dominican Republic has been upgraded to Hurricane Earl as of 4 p.m. Wednesday.

On Wednesday afternoon, the hurricane was centered about was about 150 miles east of Belize City. It had top sustained winds of 75 mph and was moving west at 14 mph. NOAA forecasts show the hurricane is epected to make landfall around 1 p.m. Thursday.

The U.S. National Hurricane Center in Miami says Earl could bring heavy rains, flooding and high winds to Mexico, Belize and Honduras.

On Sunday, Earl was still a weaker tropical wave but knocked down power lines and started a fire that killed six passengers on a bus filled with people returning from a beach excursion.

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