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Danielle hits hurricane strength in Atlantic

August 24, 2010

Danielle became the second hurricane of the Atlantic season Monday as its winds reached sustained speeds of near 75 miles (120 kilometers) per hour, the US National Hurricane Center said.

"Danielle is a category one hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson hurricane wind-scale," the center said in an advisory. "Additional strengthening is forecast during the next 48 hours."

It said the storm was forecast to become a major hurricane by Wednesday, but various models all show it passing east of Bermuda and turning north-northeast to miss the US east coast.

At 2100 GMT, the storm was about 1,320 miles (2,120 kilometers) east of the Lesser Antilles, moving in a northwesterly direction at a speed of 17 miles per hour (28 kilometers).

"Maximum sustained winds have increased to near 75 mph (120 kilometers per hour) with higher gusts," the hurricane center said.

The first hurricane of the Atlantic seas was Alex, which left one person dead in northern Mexico and disrupted oil clean up efforts in the Gulf of Mexico before being downgraded to a tropical storm June 30.

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