Hurricane Patricia Forms, Nears Mexico

Hurricane Patricia Forms, Nears Mexico

MEXICO CITY (AP) -- Patricia has strengthened to a hurricane as it nears Mexico's Pacific coast and officials are warning about heavy rains and flooding.

Patricia's maximum sustained winds increased early Thursday to near 75 mph (120 kph). Additional strengthening is expected and U.S. National Hurricane Center says the storm could become a major hurricane Friday.

A hurricane warning was in effect for the Mexican coast from Cabo Corrientes to Punta San Telmo, a stretch of coastline that includes the port city of Manzanillo. A tropical storm warning was declared from Punta San Telmo east to Lazaro Cardenas.

Patricia is centered about 225 miles (365 kilometers) south-southwest of Acapulco with movement toward the west-northwest near 16 mph (26 kph).

The Hurricane Center says Patricia is expected to bring heavy rain to the states of Jalisco, Colima, Michoacan and Guerrero.

(KA)