September 19, 2019 / 4:37 AM / a month ago

Lorena strengthens into hurricane off coast of Colima, Mexico

A general view shows rain storm caused by Tropical Storm Lorena in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, September 19, 2019. REUTERS/David Diaz

(Reuters) - Storm Lorena became a category one hurricane on Wednesday off Mexico’s Pacific coast, the U.S. National Hurricane Centre (NHC) said, as heavy rains and high winds were making their way inland.

Lorena is about 35 miles (55 km) south west of Manzanillo, Mexico, with maximum sustained winds of 75 miles per hour (120 kph), the NHC said in an update.

“Maximum sustained winds have increased,” the NHC said. “Additional strengthening is forecast during the next couple of days.”

Lorena is expected to approach southern Baja California by Friday night and Saturday, the Miami-based weather forecaster said.

The Mexican government said in a statement that it expected intense rain fall of between 150 and 250 litres per square meter in the states of Jalisco, Colima, Michoacan and Guerrero, as well as to a lesser extent in Nayarit.

Reporting by Karthika Suresh Namboothiri in Bengaluru and Stefanie Eschenbacher in Mexico City; Editing by Kim Coghill and Darren Schuettler

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