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AT LEAST 27 REPORTED DEAD IN ACAPULCO AS HURRICANE BATTERS MEXICAN RESORTS

At least 27 people have been killed in this Pacific coast tourist resort by Hurricane Pauline, civil defense and Red Cross officials said today.

A civil defense spokesman in Acapulco told Reuters he had reports of 25 confirmed dead, while the Red Cross had registered another two.

The officials said most of those killed had drowned in the floods that engulfed the city. Others had been crushed under collapsing homes.

Seventeen of the deaths were in the poor neighborhoods of Zapata and Renacimiento, high on the hills overlooking the city's bay and far from the hotel and tourist district.

Another three people died in the Coloso district near the highway leading out of the city to nearby Puerto Marquez bay, but no deaths were reported in the hotel district.

In the Santa Cruz neighborhood, witnesses said a building several stories high collapsed, blocking the street. There was no immediate word about victims there.

Hurricane Pauline continued to pound the Pacific coast.

The U.S. National Hurricane Center reported near-hurricane force winds of 59 mph whipped Acapulco before dawn today as the storm moved northward up the coast toward the beach resorts of Zihuatenejo, Manzanillo and Puerto Vallarta.

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