The tropical storm is making its way over Central America and the Caribbean and is expected to reach the Gulf of Mexico and the US in less than 48 hours. Hurricane warnings have been issued in the states of Louisiana, Alabama and Mississippi.

Tropical storm Nate

Tropical storm Nate Photo Credit: Reuters/Channel 2 News

The US National Hurricane Center (NHC) announced that Tropical Storm Nate is making its way north to the Gulf of Mexico and is forecasted to hit the US coast as a hurricane.

Nate has already claimed the lives of 22 victims as it hit Central America with powerful winds and heavy rainfall. Fears of a higher death toll are rising as the storm is expected to become a hurricane as it travels north.

Authorities in Costa Rica announced that eight of the victims were Costa Rican nationals, including two children. 17 additional people were pronounced missing and 7,000 remain without shelter. A general state of emergency was declared in Costa Rica and all schools and non-essential establishments were shut down. Two children drowned in Honduras and a man was killed in a mudslide in El Salvador.

Nate is expected to hit the Gulf of Mexico on Sunday as a category 1 hurricane. A hurricane watch has been issued in the US in Morgan City, Louisiana, New Orleans and near the area of the Mississippi-Alabama border.