Amanda becomes a major hurricane in the Pacific

Amanda becomes a major hurricane in the Pacific
File photo.

MIAMI - Storm Amanda has gained strength and is now a Category Three hurricane, the Miami-based National Hurricane Center reported Saturday.

At 0300 GMT the eye of Amanda was far from land, some 1,070 kilometers (665 miles) southwest of Manzanillo, Mexico and heading further out to sea in a west-northwest direction, the NHC said.

Amanda was packing sustained winds of 185 kilometers (115 miles) per hour, making it a Category Three storm on the five level Saffir-Simpson scale.

"Some additional strengthening is expected during the next day or so, with gradual weakening forecast to begin on Monday," the NHC said.

The storm is moving at near five kilometers (seven miles) an hour and is forecast to turn towards the north-northwest on Sunday.

According to the NHC, hurricane force winds extend up to 55 kilometers (35 miles) from the centre of the storm.

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