VERACRUZ, Mexico - Hurricane Stan barreled into Mexico's Gulf coast Tuesday, pummeling this major port city with heavy rain and punishing waves, and forcing the evacuation of thousands of residents and several offshore oil platforms.
Stan packed maximum sustained winds near 80 mph, the National Hurricane Center in Miami reported. It was centered just inland about 85 miles southeast of the city of 425,000 people and was moving southwest at about 7 mph.
Forecasters said wind and rain from the Category 1 hurricane were also reaching Central America, causing floods and landslides and leaving at least 38 people dead in El Salvador. Rain was still falling Tuesday in much of Central America, driving thousands from their homes in El Salvador and Guatemala.
Veracruz's busy port was closed, schools canceled classes and officials at a nearby nuclear power plant prepared the facility for the hurricane's arrival. Thousands of residents abandoned their homes and stayed in dozens of shelters set up all along the coast.
It was unclear how the oil platform evacuations would affect production at Pemex, the world's third-biggest oil producer and a major supplier to the United States. The company pumps about 3.4 million barrels a day of crude, just over half of which it exports.
Forecasters said the storm could dump up to 10 inches of rain in some areas, and warned residents that flooding and landslides were possible.
It raced across the Yucatan peninsula on Sunday, buffeting the region with and rain. No major damage was reported.