Richard Downgraded to a Tropical Storm Over Guatemala

October 25, 2010

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(6:30 a.m. EDT) -- Hurricane Richard has now weakened to a tropical storm as it passes over northern Guatemala.

According to the National Hurricane Center's 4 a.m. CDT update, Richard -- which is the seventeenth named storm of the Atlantic hurricane season -- is located about 170 miles south-southeast of Campeche, Mexico and about 90 miles west of Belize City. Maximum sustained winds have now decreased to 65 miles per hour.

The storm passed over Honduras and Belize bringing heavy rain and strong winds to the region over the weekend.

The BBC reported that up to 10,000 people took shelter in schools and churches in Belize as the storm hit. There were power outages and roofs were blown off, but fortunately, there are no reports of any injuries or deaths.

Cruise Ship Itinerary Changes

A spokesperson for Carnival has confirmed that Carnival Triumph has altered its calls due to Hurricane Richard. The ship -- which is on a seven-day cruise from New Orleans -- had been due to call in Belize (Monday), Roatan (Tuesday) and Cozumel (Wednesday). The ship will now call in Cozumel (Monday), Roatan (Tuesday) and then Belize (Wednesday).
Weather Outlook: Next Affected Ships & Ports

Hurricane watches and warnings have now been discontinued for Belize and Mexico.

The NHC is predicting that the centre of Richard will move across northern Guatemala and southeastern Mexico today and into the extreme southern Gulf of Mexico later tonight or early Tuesday.

At this point there are no further itinerary changes to Western Caribbean cruises.

We'll keep you posted.

--by Kelly Ranson, U.K. Editor