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Tropical Storm Ingrid pelts east Mexico with rain By Rodrigo Soberanes Santin, Associated Press

VERACRUZ, Mexico (AP) -- Mexican authorities rushed to evacuate riverside communities in the Gulf coast state of Veracruz Friday as Tropical Storm Ingrid lashed the coast with heavy rains, threatening more damage in a state where landslides and flooding have killed dozens of people in recent weeks.

The state government said neighborhoods located near riverbanks in eight Veracruz townships would be evacuated amid warnings the Tecolutla river could overflow its banks. The evacuees were to be taken to shelters set up in schools and other government buildings.

Ingrid could become a hurricane shortly before hitting land near the Gulf coast port city of Tampico sometime late Sunday or early Monday, according to the U.S. National Hurricane Center.

Mexico declared a hurricane watch for the Gulf coast from La Pesca, just south of the U.S. border, to a point near Tuxpan, south of Tampico.

Ingrid's maximum sustained winds late Friday were near 60 mph (95 kph), according to the Hurricane Center. It was nearly stationary and centered about 65 miles (105 kilometers) east of the port city of Veracruz, but forecasters said it was likely to advance north and curve into the coast near Tampico during Mexico's long Independence Day weekend.

At least three major rivers in the eastern state of Veracruz were flooding or close to overflowing their banks and hundreds of people were evacuating low-lying areas, officials said. A bridge collapsed near the northern city of Misantla, cutting off the area from the state capital.  ...more

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