Hurricane Dora affects Mexican states on Pacific coast

10:52, July 22, 2011      

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The Mexican authorities remained on high alert Thursday as torrential rains and sea waves over 4 meters high slammed the coastline in five states on the Pacific, causing widespread flooding and landslides.

Dora continued to be "an extremely dangerous" Category 4 hurricane with sustained winds reaching as much as 250 kilometers per hour and with the highest gusts measured at 305 kilometers per hour, the Miami-based U.S. National Hurricane Center (NHC) said.

The rains and winds from Dora, which was moving along Mexico's Pacific coast, were reported to cause flooding, landslides and falling trees in the Southern States of Chiapas and Gurrero and central states of Michoacan, Nayarit and Colima, an official at Mexico's National Metrological Center said.

There were no immediate reports of casualties, but emergency personal were on full alert as Dora is expected to continue to move along the coast for several more days, dumping rain on vulnerable mountain communities where soils easily saturate and lead to landslides.

Mexico's Navy Ministry said the danger index measured for the powerful storm was "severe" because of the affects of the elevated waves with undercurrents while the NHC said Dora continued to cause "life-threatening" conditions in the coastal areas.

The NHC said Dora may strengthen further and become a Category 5 hurricane later Thursday before it starts weakening sometime Friday when moving further out over the Pacific Ocean in north- western direction.

At 14:00 local time (19:00 GMT), Dura was located about 250 kilometers southwest of the port of Mazanillo, and about 390 kilometers south-southwest of the popular beach resort town of Puerto Vallarta.

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