(updates throughout)


Tropical Storm Ernesto has caused two deaths in the southeastern Mexican state of Tabasco, authorities said Thursday.

One of the fatalities was a fisherman in the town of Centla who fell into a river and drowned while trying to secure his boat, a state emergency services official told Efe.

The Mexican government is maintaining tropical storm warnings from Chilitepec, Tabasco, to the Gulf coast port of Veracruz.

Ernesto made landfall early Thursday afternoon near Coatzacoalcos, a city in Veracruz state, bringing winds of 96 kph (60 mph).

As of 2100 GMT Thursday, the storm was located 85 kilometers (55 miles) west of Coatzacoalcos and moving west at 17 kph (10 mph), with maximum sustained winds of 85 kph (55 mph), the U.S. National Hurricane Center said.

While Ernesto's winds are expected to diminish as it continues to move inland, Mexican authorities say the storm's torrential rains pose a risk of mudslides.

This is the storm's second swipe at Mexico.

The storm first made landfall Tuesday night near Mahahual, a city in the southeastern state of Quintana Roo, as a Category 1 hurricane packing winds of up to 165 kph (103 mph).

Ernesto's center crossed the Yucatan Peninsula on Wednesday without causing any casualties or serious damage and then moved back over water. EFE