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Nov 26, 3:53 AM EST

Hurricane Sandra strengthens to a Category 4 storm

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MIAMI (AP) -- Hurricane Sandra has strengthened to a powerful Category 4 storm in the eastern Pacific off Mexico's coast.

The hurricane's maximum sustained winds increased early Thursday to near 145 mph (230 kph). The U.S. National Hurricane Center says no significant change in strength is expected but weakening should begin Friday.

Sandra is centered about 500 miles (810 kilometers) southwest of Cabo Corrientes, Mexico, and is moving north near 12 mph (19 kph).

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