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Hurricane Bonnie weakens as it heads deeper into Pacific

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MEXICO CITY >> Hurricane Bonnie weakened Wednesday after becoming the first major storm of the eastern Pacific season while off southern Mexico, though it wasn’t a threat to land.

Bonnie was moving farther away from Mexico’s Pacific coast after its weekend crossing of Central America as a tropical storm from the Caribbean and dropping heavy rain, contributing to at least two deaths.

Forecasters said they expected the hurricane, which briefly was a Category 3 storm Tuesday, to keep heading westward out over the open sea and weaken to a tropical storm by Friday. But the U.S. National Hurricane Center said Bonnie could cause rough surf on parts of Mexico’s southwestern coast through Wednesday night.

Bonnie had maximum sustained winds of 100 mph (155 kph) late Wednesday, according to the hurricane center. It was centered 425 miles (685 kilometers) south-southwest of the southern tip of Mexico’s Baja California peninsula and was moving west at 15 mph (22 kph).

The storm caused heavy flooding while crossing sodden Nicaragua after making landfall as a tropical storm on the country’s Caribbean coast late Friday.

Two people died in separate events related to flooding, Nicaragua’s army said in a statement. It said 40-year-old Alberto Flores Landero died trying to cross the swollen Mati river in Siuna in Nicaragua’s northeast and Juan Carlos Alemán, 38, died trying to help passengers from a bus that fell into the Ali Bethel river in the same area.

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