REPEAT-Marco becomes hurricane as it moves towards U.S. Gulf coast, NHC says

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Aug 23 (Reuters) - Storm Marco strengthened into a hurricane on Sunday afternoon as it continued to move towards the U.S Gulf coast, the U.S National Hurricane Center (NHC) said.

“Life-threatening storm surge and hurricane-force winds expected along portions of the U.S. Gulf coast,” said the NHC’s latest bulletin.

Marco was located about 300 miles (482.8 km)south-southeast of the mouth of the Mississippi River and about 460 miles southeast of Lafayette, Louisiana, the forecaster said.

The storm’s maximum sustained winds have increased to 75 miles per hour with higher gusts, it added. (Reporting by Shubham Kalia in Bengaluru Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)