Nov 25, 4:01 AM EST

Hurricane Sandra expected to strengthen in eastern Pacific

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MIAMI (AP) -- Hurricane Sandra is expected to get stronger as it swirls off Mexico's Pacific coast.

The hurricane's maximum sustained winds increased early Wednesday to near 85 mph (140 kph). The U.S. National Hurricane Center says additional strengthening is expected and Sandra could become a major hurricane later in the day or on Thursday.

Sandra is centered about 545 miles (880 kilometers) southwest of Manzanillo, Mexico, and is moving west-northwest near 10 mph (17 kph).

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