(Updates Jova’s position in second paragraph.)
Oct. 10 (Bloomberg) -- Hurricane Jova gained strength as it moves east over the Pacific Ocean toward Mexico, packing winds of as much as 125 miles (201 kilometers) per hour.
The hurricane was about 220 miles southwest of Manzanillo, Mexico, at 2 p.m. East Coast time and moving east-northeast at 6 mph, the U.S. National Hurricane Center said in an advisory.
Jova is a Category 3 hurricane on the five-step Saffir- Simpson scale and may become a Category 4 storm today or tomorrow, capable of causing “catastrophic damage,” the center said.
“Although some fluctuations in intensity are possible until landfall, Jova is expected to be a major hurricane when it reaches the southwestern coast of Mexico,” according to the advisory. The storm is expected to strike late tomorrow along the coast between Puerto Vallarta and Manzanillo.
The Mexican government has issued a hurricane warning for Punta San Telmo north to Cabo Corrientes, and a tropical-storm warning from Lazaro Cardenas to south of Punta San Telmo, the center said.
A storm surge may cause “life-threatening” floods in coastal areas and surf could swell to dangerous levels, according to the center. As much as 15 inches (38 centimeters) of rain is possible in some places, the center, said.
Tropical Storm Irwin weakened as it follows Jova across the Pacific toward Mexico. The storm’s top winds are 40 mph, just above the 39 mph threshold needed to be a tropical storm, down from 50 mph earlier.
Irwin was about 745 miles southwest of the southern tip of Baja California and is expected near the Mexican coast by week’s end.
--With assistance from Brian K. Sullivan in Boston. Editors: Charlotte Porter, Richard Stubbe
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