Hurricane Maria heads toward Newfoundland

MIAMI (AP) -- Maria has strengthened into a hurricane far from the U.S. coast and the storm is rapidly heading toward southeastern Newfoundland.

The U.S. National Hurricane Center in Miami said Thursday that Maria had maximum sustained winds of 80 mph (129 kph). Its center was located about 775 miles (1247 kilometers) southwest of Cape Race, Newfoundland. Maria is moving northeast at 43 mph (69 kph).

A hurricane watch has been issued for part of the Avalon Peninsula of Newfoundland. The center of Maria is expected to pass near or over the Avalon Peninsula on Friday.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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