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MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Hurricane Paul, about 310 miles southwest of Mexico's Baja peninsula, has weakened to a Category 2 hurricane and was expected to make landfall in a sparsely populated area late on Tuesday, the U.S. National Hurricane Center said.

Paul carried maximum wind speeds of around 110 miles per hour (175 km per hour) and was moving north-northeast at 17 miles per hour (28 km per hour), the center said on Monday.

The Mexican government has issued a hurricane warning from Santa Fe northward to Punta Abreojos on the country's western Baja peninsula, the center added. However the storm is not expected to encroach on the popular tourist haven of Los Cabos.

"Paul is expected to produce total rain accumulations of 2 to 4 inches over the southern Baja peninsula with possible isolated amounts of 8 inches," the center said.

Mexico has no important oil installations along the Pacific coast.

(Reporting by Gabriel Stargardter; Editing by Doina Chiacu)

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