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Mexico City (AFP) May 25, 2014
Hurricane Amanda, the first named storm of the season, has intensified in the Pacific Ocean, rising to category four strength -- but remains far from land, forecasters said Sunday.
Mexico's National Water Commission forecast "no direct effects" for the Mexican coastline from the storm, but warned heavy rains and landslides could hit the western states of Jalisco and Michoacan.
As of 0900 GMT, the storm was 1,075 kilometers (670 miles) southwest of Manzanillo, in the western Colima state, the Miami-based National Hurricane Center said.
The storm was packing wind of nearly 220 kilometers (140 miles) per hour, moving to the west-northwest at seven kilometers per hour, the NHC said, adding that Hurricane force winds extend up to 45 kilometers (30 miles) from the center of the storm.
The Mexican agency said Amanda was unlikely to make landfall in Mexico, and forecast it would begin weakening later Sunday.
It predicted the storm would dissipate into a tropical depression by Friday, when it would be located some 175 kilometers from Socorro Island, in Colima state.
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