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Hurricane Rick grows to Category 5 storm

Hurricane Rick has strengthened to an "extremely dangerous" Category 5 storm off Mexico's Pacific coast.

Hurricane Rick has strengthened to an "extremely dangerous" Category 5 storm off Mexico's Pacific coast, the U.S. National Hurricane Center said Saturday.

Meteorologists at the Miami-based agency said Rick is packing winds of 285 kilometres an hour. At 8 p.m. PT, it was centred about 475 kilometres south-southwest of Manzanillo and moving in a northwesterly direction.

A Category 5 hurricane — the highest level on the Saffir-Simpson scale — is reached when winds exceed 249 kilometres an hour.

The centre said Rick is now the second strongest hurricane on record in the eastern North Pacific after Hurricane Linda in 1997.

While Rick was moving parallel to the Mexican coast on Saturday, forecasters said it could shift in direction, moving to the northeast and closer to the Baja California peninsula by the middle of next week.

Rain from the storm's outer bands could trigger landslides and flooding in the resort city of Acapulco, the region's Civil Protection Department has warned.

Authorities in Acapulco have ordered the port closed to small craft because of heavy waves and strong gusts of wind.

With files from The Associated Press

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