Washington: Cristina has quickly strengthened into a category three hurricane off the southwest coast of Mexico, the US National Hurricane Center said today.
Cristina is now packing maximum sustained winds of 195 kph as it moves west-northwest at a speed of 13 kph (nine mph), the Miami-based centre said.
It is classified as category three on a scale of one to five -- five being the highest -- based on wind speed.
Category 3 and above are considered major hurricanes due to their potential for significant loss of life and damage, the centre says.
In its 0900 GMT bulletin, the center said Cristina is located 390 kilometers south of the town of Manzanillo.
Swells caused by Cristina have hit parts of the southwestern coast of Mexico and could cause life-threatening surf and rip tides, the agency said.