Richard Weakens after Belize Hit

MIAMI – Hurricane Richard has weakened to a tropical storm over northeastern Guatemala after battering the tiny Central American country of Belize with heavy rain and howling winds.

The storm’s maximum sustained winds early Monday are near 65 mph (100 kph) with steady weakening expected as Richard stays inland.

Mexico has discontinued all coastal warnings for that country.

The storm is located about 90 miles (150 kilometers) west of Belize City and is moving west-northwest near 12 mph (19 kph).

An estimated 10,000 people in Belize took refuge at storm shelters in schools and churches ahead of the arrival of Richard, which made landfall late Sunday about 20 miles (35 kilometers) south-southwest of Belize City.

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