Saturday, October 17, 2009

Dangerous Hurricane Rick still growing off Mexico

(AP) – MEXICO CITY — Hurricane Rick strengthened into an "extremely dangerous" Category 4 storm off Mexico's Pacific coast on Saturday and forecasters said it could strike the Baja California Peninsula sometime next week. Authorities in the resort of Acapulco closed the port to small craft after Rick kicked up heavy waves and gusts of wind. "There are waves of 7 to 8 feet, and gusts of wind," said Victor Cruz Lopez, the watch officer at the port captain's office. The storm had sustained winds near 150 mph (240 kph) and it was expected to grow into a monster Category 5 storm with winds surpassing 155 mph (250 kph), the U.S. National Hurricane Center in Miami reported, though it said the storm was likely to lose much of that punch before hitting land. Rick was centered about 290 miles (470 kilometers) south of the port of Manzanillo, west of Acapulco, on Saturday afternoon and was moving northwest near 15 mph (24 kph), the center said.
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