Tropical Storm Ernesto Kills 6 As It Hits Southern Mexico And Weakens
Update: 1:24pm - Death toll in Mexico rises to six.
Tropical Storm Ernesto made landfall in the Mexican state of Veracruz, near Boca del Rio, killing three in widespread flooding. Ernesto made landfall over Mexico early this morning and as it begins to hit Mexico's tall mountains it has been downgraded to a tropical depression.
Ernesto had been the second hurricane of the 2012 season and is now traveling westward at 14 mph with winds around 35mph and heavy torrential rains. Flash flooding and mudslide have been predicted inland.
The storm, now a tropical depression, is expected to cross over Popocatepetl, one of Mexico's tallest mountains at 17,802 feet with an active glacier, and pour heavy rains down into the Mexico City basin causing considerable flooding.
Pemex, Mexico's state-run oil company said despite the storm passing over two of it large oil fields, Cantarell and Ku Maloob Zaap, it has not experienced any disruptions.
The oil exporting ports of Coatzacoalcos, Cayo Arcas and Dos Bocas have been closed since Wednesday and workers evacuated.
Mexico now pumps about 2.5 million bpd, and nearly all of Mexico's crude oil export is shipped to the United States.