Sandra becomes a hurricane in eastern Pacific off Mexico; is forecast to intensify

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MIAMI — Sandra has become a hurricane in the eastern Pacific off Mexico and is expected to strengthen even further in the next couple of days.

The U.S. National Hurricane Center said Tuesday night that the storm had maximum sustained winds of 75 mph (120 kph) and was moving west-northwest at 12 mph (19 kph).

The center says hurricane watches and warnings may be necessary Wednesday for southern portions of the Baja California peninsula. Forecasters say Sandra could be a major hurricane by Thursday.

The storm was centered about 765 miles (1,230 kms) south of the southern tip of Baja California and about 540 miles (870 kms) south-southwest of Manzanillo, Mexico.

There are currently no coastal watches or warnings in effect.

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