09/14/2013 01:04 EDT | Updated 11/14/2013 05:12 EST

Tropical storm Ingrid sparks Mexico warning for Canadians

Federal officials have issued a travel warning for Canadians who are travelling to some areas of Mexico, in light of Tropical Storm Ingrid, which threatens the country.

Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada advised Canadians on Saturday to steer clear of the central American country unless it’s "essential."

The storm, which is nearing hurricane strength, is expected to bring 25 to 40 centimetres of rain over a large part of eastern Mexico and up to 65 centimetres in some places.

Foreign Affairs is also warning that the rain will likely fall in the mountainous areas, causing life-threatening flash floods and mudslides.

As of midday Saturday, the storm was located 235 kilometres northeast of Veracruz, where landslides and flooding have killed dozens of people in recent weeks.

At least three major rivers in Veracruz were flooding or close to overflowing their banks. Hundreds of people were evacuating to low-lying areas, officials said.

Ingrid could become a hurricane shortly before hitting land near the Gulf coast port city of Tampico sometime late Sunday or early Monday, according to the U.S. National Hurricane Center.