Tropical Storm Enrique strengthens off Mexico Pacific coast

MEXICO CITY (AP) — Tropical Storm Enrique formed Friday off of southern Mexico and forecasters said it was likely to grow into the first hurricane of the eastern Pacific season while heading to the northwest parallel to the coast.

The U.S. National Hurricane Center said Enrique’s maximum sustained winds had strengthened to 65 mph (100 kph) and could grow to hurricane force by late Friday or Saturday.

The storm was centered about 205 miles (325 kilometers) south of the port of Manzanillo by evening and was headed to the west-northwest at 8 mph (13 kph).

While the storm was expected to remain offshore, forecasters said it could cause heavy rains and dangerous flooding over parts of southwestern Mexico.

Mexico’s Defense Department said it was deploying troops to aid civilians in advance of the storm.

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