Hurricane Bud strengthened into a major storm and was expected make land Friday in an area of beach resorts and small mountain villages on the Pacific coast stretching south from Puerto Vallarta.

Authorities cancelled school in 11 communities expected to be hit by heavy rains in Jalisco state, and emergency workers began preparing emergency shelters.

A hurricane warning was up for Mexico’s Pacific coast from Manzanillo northwestward to Cabo Corrientes. A hurricane watch and tropical storm warning remained in effect from Punto Telmo to Cabo Corrientes.

Bud’s maximum sustained winds increased to 115 mph (185 kph) late Thursday, making it a Category 3 storm on the five—level hurricane scale. The U.S. National Hurricane Centre in Miami said gradual weakening was expected to begin by Friday before the centre of the storm reached shore.

The storm’s center was predicted to be nearing Mexico’s south-western coast late Friday.

The hurricane was centered about 150 miles (241 kilometres) southwest of Manzanillo and moving north-northeast at 10 mph (17 kph).

The government of Jalisco state prepared hundreds of cots and dozens of heavy vehicles like bulldozers that could be needed to move debris.

Officials in Puerto Vallarta said they were in close contact with managers of the hundreds of hotels in the city in case tourists needed to move to eight emergency shelters. It said the sea along the city’s famous beachfront was calm, but swimming had been temporarily banned as a precaution.

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