Jova strengthens to major hurricane off Mexican coast

October 10, 2011 17:26


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MEXICO CITY - Jova strengthened to a major hurricane on Monday and forecasters warned it was likely to pick up speed as it neared Mexico's Pacific coast.

With top winds reaching 195 km per hour, Jova now is a Category 3 storm on the five-step Saffir-Simpson scale of intensity. It is expected to make landfall near the resort town of Melaque, on a stretch of coast dotted with fine beaches, late on Tuesday.

Near midday, Jova was about 405 km southwest of the busy port city of Manzanillo, the Miami-based National Hurricane Center said. Mexican authorities have issued a hurricane warning for coastal areas popular with tourists.

Mexico has issued a hurricane warning for 320 km of coastline stretching south from Cabo Corrientes below Puerto Vallarta in Jalisco state and the port of Manzanillo, which moves around 150 barges a month, was closed.

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