Hurricane Earl downgraded to tropical storm after making landfall in Belize

People in Belize City have been forced to take shelter amid heavy rain and winds

Hurricane Earl downgraded to tropical storm after making landfall in Belize

Image: NASA

'Hurricane Earl' has been downgraded to a tropical storm after making landfall in Belize.

At least nine people were killed earlier this week as the storm hit Haiti and the Dominican Republic, according to BBC.

The storm has now weakened after reaching the Central American mainland, although there are still concerns over potential flooding and mudslides. 

Winds of up to 130km/h had previously been measured, but the latest data from the US National Hurricane Centre shows maximum sustained winds of around 105km/h.

The centre is continuing to warn that heavy rains in Belize, northern Guatemala and the central part of the Mexican state of Chiapas "could result in life-threatening flash floods and mudslides".

However, the Mexican government is said to have discontinued all hurricane warnings following the downgrading.

BBC reports that Earl made landfall in Belize in the early hours of this morning, with heavy rains already having hit Honduras. 

Residents in coastal areas had been advised to take shelter further inland, while the storm also led to the closure of the capital's airport.

National parks were among the other facilities forced to close over the last few days.

Video shared online showed a timelapse of the storm approaching Belize: