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Norbert becomes hurricane in Pacific off Mexico

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Sept. 2, 2014: Cars sit on a street that collapsed after heavy rain in the Gulf port city of Veracruz, Mexico. (AP)

Norbert has become a hurricane in the Pacific well off the southern tip of Mexico's Baja California peninsula.

The U.S. National Hurricane Center in Miami says Norbert reached hurricane strength on Wednesday, packing top sustained winds of 75 mph. It is centered about 215 miles south of the Baja peninsula.

Forecasters say Norbert is headed west-northwest at 8 mph and expected to approach the southern tip of the peninsula sometime Thursday and trek nearly parallel to lower Baja's Pacific coast Friday.

Forecasters say a tropical storm warning is in effect from La Paz to Santa Fe, Mexico while a tropical storm watch is in effect north of Santa Fe to Cabo San Lazaro and north of La Paz to San Evaristo, Mexico.