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MEXICO CITY — Hurricane Bonnie strengthened into a major storm off the coast of southern Mexico on Tuesday, the first of the season in the eastern Pacific, though it isn’t seen as a threat to land.

Bonnie continued to move roughly parallel to Mexico’s Pacific coast after making as a tropical storm a weekend crossing of Central America from the Caribbean and dropping heavy rain, contributing to at least two deaths.

Forecasters said they expected the hurricane, a Category 3 storm, to pose no threat to land as it headed generally westward farther out into the Pacific. But the U.S. National Hurricane Center said that large swells from Bonnie were hitting parts of Mexico’s southwestern coast.

Bonnie had maximum sustained winds of 115 mph (185 kph) late Tuesday afternoon, the hurricane center said. It was centered 340 miles (545 kilometers) south of Cabo Corrientes, near the Mexican resort town of Puerto Vallarta, and was moving west at 15 mph (24 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.

The Family Ministry said it distributed mattresses to families displaced by flooding in Rama, west of Bluefields. Images from the area showed water up to rooflines and people navigating streets in boats.

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