Hurricane Ingrid has strengthened after becoming Mexico's second hurricane of the Atlantic storm season, prompting the evacuation of several thousand people.
Ingrid was packing maximum sustained winds of 85 mph (140 kph) early Sunday. The storm was centered about 175 miles (280 km) east of Tampico, Mexico and moving north-northwest at 7 mph (11 km).
The U.S. National Hurricane Center in Miami said that if Ingrid stays on the forecast track, it's expected to reach the coast of Mexico early Monday. A hurricane warning was in effect from Cabo Rojo to La Pesca.
In Tamaulipas state to the north, where Ingrid is expected to make landfall, the government said in a statement that Independence Day festivities were cancelled in the cities of Tampico, Madero and Altamira. The Sept. 15 and 16 celebrations commemorate Mexico's battle of independence from Spain.
Officials in the Gulf state of Veracruz began evacuating coastal residents Friday night, and local civil protection authorities said that more than 5,300 people had been moved to safer ground. Of those, about 3,500 people were being housed in official shelters with the rest staying with family and friends. There were no immediate reports of injuries blamed on the storm.
More than 1,000 homes in Veracruz state have been affected by the storm to varying degrees, and 20 highways and 12 bridges have suffered damages, according to the state's civil protection authority.
A bridge collapsed near the northern Veracruz city of Misantla Friday, cutting off the area from the state capital. Thirteen people died when a landslide buried their homes in heavy rains spawned by Tropical Depression Fernand on Monday.
State officials imposed an orange alert, the highest possible, in parts of southern Veracruz.