Forecasters have predicted damaging winds, drenching rains and a risky storm surge from the Gulf of Mexico.
Hurricane Irma, a Category 5 storm with sustained winds of 185 miles per hour, is expected to pass north of Puerto Rico Thursday morning, through the Bahamas on Friday and into South Florida on Sunday.
The storm originally made landfall just north of Tecolutla, Mexico Friday night as a Category 1 hurricane with 75 miles per hour winds.
The storm is expected to further weaken as it moves inland, and is expected to dissipate Saturday.
Katia is a much smaller storm than Hurricane Irma, which is causing devastation in the Caribbean and is expected to arrive in Florida this weekend.
The National Hurricane Center projects Hurricane Jose currently a category 4 storm will gradually weaken this week. Image courtesy NHC
Meanwhile, Mexico is dealing with the aftermath of a powerful natural disaster on Thursday night.
Meanwhile, a powerful 8.1 quake struck about 100 miles from Chiapas' Pacific coast, killing at least 58 people. Meteorologists expect Irma to make landfall in the Keys between 5 a.m. and 7 a.m. ET on Sunday. The government of Mexico has issued a hurricane watch for the coast of the state of Veracruz from Tuxpan to Laguna Verde.
Katia has "worrying characteristics" because it is very slow moving and could dump a lot of rain on areas that have been saturated in recent weeks, Luis Felipe Puente, head of Mexico's national emergency services, told domestic television on Wednesday.
Veracruz state officials said in a statement on Friday that the storm could cause landslides and flooding, and urged people living below hills and slopes to be prepared to evacuate.
State energy company Pemex has installations in and around the coast of Veracruz but has not reported any disruption to its operations there.
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