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a0882 BC-TropicalWeather 4thLd-Writethru 06-19 0254

Tropical depression heads toward Mexico coast

Eds: RESTORES dropped word in lede.

MEXICO CITY (AP) — The first tropical depression of the Pacific hurricane season headed toward Mexico’s Pacific coast on Friday and forecasters said it might grow into a tropical storm before hitting land.

The National Hurricane Center in Miami said the depression was centered about 120 miles (195 kilometers) south-southwest of the coastal city of Mazatlan at 11 a.m. PDT (2 p.m. EDT; 1800 GMT).

Maximum sustained winds remain near 35 mph (55 kph). Forecasters say the depression could strengthen to a tropical storm sometime Friday with wind speeds of 39 mph (63 kph) or more. The center of the storm is expected to near the Mexican coast Saturday.

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The depression was moving toward the north-northeast at about 12 mph (19 kph).

Mexican authorities issued a tropical storm warning for the Islas Marias, a group of islands housing a prison facility about 85 miles (135 kilometers) off the Pacific coast, as well as a tropical storm watch for the Pacific coast from Topolobampo south to El Roblito.

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