Tropical storm strengthens in Pacific near Mexico

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ST PETERSBURG, Florida, Oct 20 (Reuters) Tropical Storm Kiko remains off the Pacific coast of Mexico but may become a hurricane later today, the National Hurricane Center said.

As of today morning, Kiko was about 165 miles west-southwest of Manzanillo, Mexico and moving toward the northwest at five miles per hour.

''Additional strengthening is forecast during the next 24 hours and Kiko could become a hurricane later today or tonight,'' the NHC said in an advisory issued from Miami.

''Above-normal tides accompanied by large and dangerous battering waves are possible along portions of the Pacific coast of Mexico in regions of onshore flow.'' The center of the storm was expected to remain offshore but heavy rains were forecast in west-central Mexico with flash floods and mudslides possible in mountainous terrain, the NHC said.

REUTERS AE RN2147

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