Mexico prepares for heavy rains from tropical low

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MEXICO CITY (AP) — Mexico is preparing for very heavy rains on its southern Pacific coast, as an unusually early start may be in the offing for the 2014 hurricane season, authorities said Wednesday.

The U.S. National Hurricane Center says an area of low pressure located about 400 miles (645 kilometers) south-southwest of the port of Manzanillo has a 50 percent chance of becoming a cyclone by Friday.

The system is expected to cause heavy rains along Mexico's coast and the government of the state of Guerrero reported that it is stepping up precautions. The state was hit by tropical storms Manuel and Ingrid in September, whose combined flooding and mudslides caused about 130 deaths.

The Eastern Pacific hurricane season officially begins May 15.

"This got a head start of about a week on the formal start of the hurricane season," Alberto Hernandez Unzon, assistant head of the government meteorological office.

He said the heaviest rains could fall in the coastal states of Guerrero, Michoacan and Colima.

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