Paul, now hurricane, threatens Baja California - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

10/23/06-MEXICO CITY, Mexico

Paul, now hurricane, threatens Baja California

A satellite image from 5 p.m. ET Sunday shows the storm off the west coast of Mexico. A satellite image from 5 p.m. ET Sunday shows the storm off the west coast of Mexico.

 Hurricane Paul strengthened to a Category 2 storm off Mexico's western coast on Monday and was threatening southern Baja California, the U.S. National Hurricane Center in Miami said.

Paul had maximum sustained winds of 100 mph (165 km/h) and had shifted direction, moving west-northwest at about 5 mph (7 km/h). The center said Paul could strengthen further and pick up speed Monday.

The Mexican government issued a hurricane watch Sunday for parts of the Baja California peninsula.

At 5 a.m. EDT, the storm was about 475 miles (765 km) south of Baja California's southern tip, the hurricane center said.

It said the storm was expected to turn progressively toward the north and pick up its pace.

The storm was on course to came ashore in Baja California sometime Tuesday, then hit mainland Mexico near the state of Sinaloa.

Mexico was struck by two Pacific hurricanes last month. Hurricane John battered a remote section of Baja California, killing five people and destroying 160 homes, while Hurricane Lane hit the Sinaloan resort town of Mazatlan, causing relatively minor damage.

Copyright 2006 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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