High wind alert issued for valley and Pacific

The national weather service has issued a wind warning and said gusts Thursday reached as high as 65 kph (40 mph) in the Pacific and 60 kph (37 mph) in the Central Valley. Gusts in the mountains may have been stronger, said the Instituto Meteorológico Nacional in a special bulletin at 5:30 p.m. Thursday.

The bulletin said that winds in the north Pacific might reach as high as 80 kph (50 mph) and up to 70 kph (43 mph) in the Central Valley.

The weather bulletin said that the strong winds were likely to last the entire weekend into next week and might intensify.

The strong winds are a product of a high pressure area over the Gulf of Mexico, said the weather institute.

The institute said the major dangers were with unstable trees, electrical wires and with fires getting out of control. The bulletin suggested that residents start no fires. The bulletin also suggested that small boats stay in port due to turbulent seas caused by the wind.

Strong winds can do damage to rooftops and cause trees and other structures to collapse. However, if a forest fire starts, the wind can whip it into a fury.

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