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Hurricane Ivan Batters US Southern States - 2004-09-16

Hurricane Ivan is battering four southern U.S. states on the coastline along the Gulf of Mexico.

The storm came ashore as a category three hurricane near Mobile, Alabama early Thursday, bringing with it heavy rain and winds over 200 kilometers per hour.

Millions of people have fled low-lying coastal areas in Florida, Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana.

Forecasters say hurricane force winds extend inland almost 170 kilometers from the center of the storm, which has caused power outages.

Earlier, Ivan spawned tornadoes that killed two people in Florida. Significant damage is reported to beaches and beachfront property throughout the region.

Meanwhile, forecasters say another storm of near hurricane intensity - named Jeanne - continues to move across the northwest coast of Puerto Rico.