Category Five Hurricane Patricia, with maximum sustained winds of 325 kilometers (200 miles) per hour, is moving toward Mexico’s Pacific coast on Friday, and the country is bracing for a potential catastrophe.
The hurricane is expected to make a landfall somewhere between the major port of Manzanillo in Colima state and Jalisco state’s tourist resort of Puerto Vallartlater later Friday.
AFP reported that Interior Minister Miguel Angel Osorio Chong told Radio Formula that, “It’s a devastating hurricane, the biggest since we can record hurricanes, and this is why we have to take extreme precautions.”
The US National Hurricane Center said on its website that Patricia was, “the strongest hurricane on record in the National Hurricane Center’s area of responsibility which includes the Atlantic and the eastern North Pacific.
The authorities are conducting evacuations, closing ports and school as the storm surge is expected to cause coastal flooding around the center of the landfall.
The National Water Commission said that Jalisco, Michoacan, Colima and Nayarit are expected to get the equivalent of 40 percent of their annual rainfall in the next 48 hours.
At least 21 people were killed in Mexico after a hurricane and a tropical storm strikes the opposite sides of Mexico, the Gulf of Mexico and the Pacific.
Tropical Storm Manuel drenched Mexico’s southwestern Pacific shoulder Sunday while Hurricane Ingrid closed in on the country’s Gulf coast, causing heavy rains and landslides.
Civil Protection Coordinator Luis Felipe Puente said 14 people died in Guerrero, three in Hidalgo, three in Puebla and one in Oaxaca due to the disaster.
Tropical Storm Manuel, with a maximum sustained winds of about 35 mph (55 kph) was moving to the northwest at 8 mph (13 kph) late Sunday, 70 miles (110 kilometers) northwest of Manzanillo.
Manuel was expected to bring 10 to 15 inches of rain over parts of Guerrero and Michoacan state, with maximums of 25 inches in some isolated areas.
Meanwhile Hurricane Ingrid had maximum sustained winds of 75 mph (120 kph) late Sunday and was centered about 110 miles (175 kilometers) northeast of the port city of Tampico as it moved west-northwest at 6 mph (9 kph).
It is expected to make a landfall by Monday morning, most likely along Tamaulipas state’s lightly populated coast north of Tampico.
Anyway, the storm system from the outer bands of Ingrid was already dumping heavy rains in parts of Mexico.
A hurricane warning was in effect from Cabo Rojo to La Pesca.
The hurricane can bring dangerous storm surge, destructive waves and heavy rains that can cause flash floods and landslides.
Yahoo! News said that more than 1,000 homes in Veracruz state had been affected by the storm to varying degrees and 20 highways and 12 bridges were damaged by the disaster.
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