Hurricane Richard's winds, rain batter tiny Belize

By ASSOCIATED PRESS
October 25, 2010 13:15

 
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BELIZE CITY — Hurricane Richard battered the tiny Central American country of Belize with heavy rain and howling winds on Monday after making landfall just south its largest city, threatening flimsy wood-and-tin houses and forcing tourists to evacuate outlying islands.

An estimated 10,000 people in Belize took refuge at storm shelters in schools and churches ahead of the arrival of Richard, which is expected to lose strength on Monday as it pushes into northern Guatemala and southeastern Mexico.

The US National Hurricane Center in Miami, Florida said Richard's top winds were 90 mph (150 kph) — making it a Category 1 hurricane — when it made landfall late Sunday about 20 miles (35 kms) south-southwest of Belize City, whose neighborhoods are full of wooden, tin-roof homes that are very vulnerable to winds.

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