2008-07-24 02:44:45 GMT 2008-07-24 10:44:45 (Beijing Time) Xinhua English
MEXICO CITY, July 23 (Xinhua) -- Hurricane Dolly is causing intense rainfall and strong winds in the northeast states of Mexico and the southern United States after it hit the south Texas coast Wednesday morning.
According to Mexico's National Meteorological Service (SMN), the center of the hurricane is now located in Mexico's coastal state of Tamaulipas.
Governor of Tamaulipas Eugenio Hernandez declared a maximum danger red alert in the state, where some 13,000 people have been evacuated by the Mexican Army and Civil Defense.
The Civil Defense services asked people to avoid leaving their homes or the shelters where they have been located. No casualties have so far been reported.
Forecaster Jaime Albarran said Dolly, with winds of up to 140 km per hour Wednesday morning, has become a "fairly predictable" hurricane and rejected speculation it might strengthen.
Dolly, which became a Category 2 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson scale as it struck land Wednesday, has downgraded to category One.
According to experts, Dolly was expected to weaken to a tropical storm later Wednesday evening and flooding was expected in south Texas and northeastern Mexico.
Mexico's state oil company Pemex evacuated Wednesday 66 workers amid fears that Dolly would cause possible damage to its facilities.
More than 20 Pemex workers were killed in October 2007 in a devastating accident at an off-shore platform largely due to bad weather.
Pemex, which produces some 90,000 crude oil barrels per day, said it operated a plan of Answer to Emergency for Hurricanes, in a move to secure its perforation and production facilities and guarantee the supply of oil.