Hurricane Delta emerged into the Gulf of Mexico today and headed toward Louisiana, after making landfall just south of the Mexican resort of Cancun.
It toppled trees and cut power to residents of the Yucatan Peninsula's resort-studded coast.
The US National Hurricane Centre in Miami said the category two hurricane was centered about 110km east-northeast of Puerto Progreso, just off the northern edge of the peninsula. Delta had maximum sustained winds of 155 km/h, but was expected to gain strength again before lashing the US gulf coast.
Delta could make landfall, possibly as a category three storm, sometime on Saturday south of Morgan City, Louisiana.
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The hurricane came ashore in Mexico with top winds of 175 km/h. Officials said it caused no deaths or injuries, but did force hundreds of tourists to take refuge in storm shelters. It knocked out power to about 266,000 customers, or about one-third of the total on the Yucatan Peninsula.