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Hurricane Kenna Smashes Mexican Beach Towns - 2002-10-25

Hurricane Kenna has arrived in southwestern Mexico, with sustained winds of 220 kilometers per hour driving the Pacific Ocean through the streets of the coastal resort city Puerto Vallarta.

The U.S. National Hurricane Center says the Category Four storm is the third strongest hurricane to strike the Pacific coast of Mexico.

Kenna hit landfall near San Blas, and at 1100 UTC was centered 65 kilometers north-northwest of Tepic, the capital of Nayarit state, where strong winds already have downed power lines and tree limbs. The hurricane is moving northeast at 32 kilometers per hour and is expected to pick up speed but lose intensity during the next 24 hours as it moves over the mountains of central Mexico.

Forecasters have issued a hurricane warning from Mazatlan southward to La Fortuna. A tropical storm warning is in effect south of La Fortuna to Manzanillo. Hurricane and tropical storm force winds extend outward 220 kilometers from the center.

Forecasters also say rainfall accumulations of more than 25 centimeters are possible along the storm's path, potentially causing life-threatening flash floods and mudslides.