Storm Celia is expected to bring heavy rain to El Salvador, Guatemala and southern Mexico

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MEXICO CITY, June 17 (Reuters) – Tropical Storm Celia is expected to bring heavy rain to El Salvador, Guatemala and southern Mexico through Sunday, and could cause flash flooding and mudslides, the National Hurricane Center (NHC) of the United States.

Celia, which formed on Friday, is a small storm and will likely track west away from the Pacific coast, the NHC predicted. Still, a move further north or an increase in size could lead to a tropical storm warning in the region.

The storm is drifting slowly north-northeast and was blowing maximum sustained wind speeds of 40 mph (65 kph) Friday morning, the NHC said.

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Salvadoran authorities have issued a “red alert” warning along the country’s coast.

Mexico’s National Water Commission said the storm is likely to dump rain on the states of Chiapas, Oaxaca, Chiapas, Tabasco, Campeche, Puebla, Quintana Roo, Veracruz and Yucatan .

Celia’s emergence comes as Blas, an offshore Category 1 hurricane moving deeper into the Pacific, threatens to smother the western states of Colima, Jalisco, Nayarit, Guerrero, Michoacan and Baja California with rain, the water commission said.

Swells generated by Blas are likely to cause dangerous surf and rip currents in parts of the Baja California Peninsula, the NHC said.

Hurricane Agatha hit Mexico in late May, causing flooding that killed at least nine people. Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador will travel to Oaxaca on Friday to take stock of progress in recovery efforts after a visit last week. Read more

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Reporting by Kylie Madry in Mexico City; additional reporting by Nelson Renteria in San Salvador Editing by Alistair Bell

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