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Katia becomes category four hurricane: NHC

Sep 5, 2011, 7:51 p.m.
Hurricane Katia is seen from a window of the International Space Station in this NASA handout picture taken August 31, 2011 and released on September 1, 2011. REUTERS/NASA/Handout

(Reuters) - Katia has strengthened to a Category 4 hurricane, with dangerous rip currents being the main hazard along the East Coast, the National Hurricane Center (NHC) said late Monday.

At 11:00 p.m. ET (0300 GMT), Katia was located about 450 miles south of Bermuda and was packing winds of 135 miles per hour (215 km/h), NHC added.

"Some fluctuations in strength are possible during the next 24 hours, followed by slow weakening," the NHC said.

The hurricane was presently moving toward the northwest near 10 miles per hour (17 km/h) and this general motion was expected to continue through Wednesday.

Forecasters expect the hurricane to veer away from the U.S. east coast later this week and then head northeastwards out to the open sea.

(Reporting by Naveen Arul in Bangalore; Editing by Himani Sarkar)

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