(Reuters) - Sandy formed into a category 1 hurricane on Wednesday, and was located about 65 miles south of Kingston, Jamaica, and about 235 miles south-southwest of Guantanamo, Cuba, the U.S. National Hurricane Center said in its latest bulletin.

"The center of Sandy is expected to move near or over eastern Jamaica this afternoon and this evening, move over eastern Cuba tonight and Thursday morning, and approach the central Bahamas on Thursday," the NHC said.

Data from an air force reserve hurricane hunter aircraft indicate that maximum sustained winds have increased to near 80 miles per hour (130 km per hour), and some additional strengthening is likely before Sandy moves over Jamaica, it added.

(Reporting by Naveen Arul in Bangalore; Editing by Gerald E. McCormick)

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