MIAMI: Hurricane Paula weakened Thursday to tropical storm status, US weather officials said, as it swirled near the western tip of Cuba after drenching Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula.

The Miami, Florida based National Hurricane Centre said Paula's winds had diminished to around 70 miles (110 kilometres) per hour and the storm was likely to weaken further over the course of the next 48 hours.

At 1500 GMT, Paula was about 110 miles (180 kilometres) west-southwest of Havana.

Channel NewsAsia - Hurricane Paula weakens to tropical storm -