Tropical storm Franklin could be near hurricane strength by the time landfall occurs Monday evening on the eastern coast of the Yucatan peninsula, the U.S. National Hurricane Center (NHC) said in its latest advisory.

The storm is located about 425 kilometres east of Belize City with maximum sustained winds of 75 kilometres per hour, the NHC said.

“The government of Mexico has issued a Hurricane Watch for a portion of the eastern Yucatan peninsula from Chetumal to Punta Allen,” the forecaster added.

with files from the Associated Press