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Tropical storm Carlotta nears hurricane strength

Hurricane warnings in effect for Pacific coast of Mexico

MIAMI | June 15, 2012

Tropical Storm Carlotta was nearing hurricane strength Friday as it approached Mexico's Pacific coast, forecasters said.

At 5 a.m. PDT, Carlotta, with maximum sustained winds of 70 mph and higher gusts, was about 355 miles southeast of Acapulco and 160 miles south-southeast of Puerto Angel, the National Hurricane Center in Miami said.

The storm was expected to become a hurricane by Friday and hurricane warnings were in effect for the Pacific coast of Mexico from Salina Cruz to Punta Maldonado.

The center warned the storm is expected to produce significant coastal flooding to the north and east of its center near the coast and a storm surge will be accompanied by large and destructive waves.

The Mexican states of Guerrero, Oaxaca and Chiapas could receive up to a foot of rain, which could cause life-threatening flash floods and mudslides.

Carlotta was moving toward the northwest at nearly 10 mph.

The center of the storm was expected to move near or over the coast of southern Mexico late Friday night and Saturday.

2012 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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