PUERTO VALLARTA, Mexico (AP) -- Soldiers and civil authorities evacuated thousands of people and closed schools and docks Friday as Mexico's Pacific coast braced for Hurricane Kenna, one of the strongest hurricanes to threaten the area in a generation.
As it neared the coast, Kenna's sustained winds slipped from 160 mph to a still-formidable 145 mph, or a category 4, with a power capable of causing extreme damage.
The storm was roaring toward the shrimp-rich coasts of Nayarit state, well south of the Baja California Peninsula, where world leaders were gathering for a summit.
"Based on the records, which go back 40 or 50 years, this would be one of the two or three strongest" hurricanes to hit Mexico's Pacific coast, said Ed Rappaport, deputy director of the National Hurricane Center in Miami.
Carmen Segura, head of the federal civil defense agency, said officials were trying to evacuate a three-mile wide strip of coast in Nayarit state, where the storm was expected to hit, and were shutting down coastal highways.
In the fishing and tourist port of San Blas, close to the storm's forecast path, fishermen made last-minute efforts to tie down boats early Friday.
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