[Updated] Hurricane Patricia Hits Mexican Coast
Mexico shut down its ports of Puerto Vallarta and Manzanillo on Friday as it braced for category five Hurricane Patricia. With winds of 200-mile per hour, Patricia is the most powerful hurricane ever recorded in the Western Hemisphere. Manzanillo is Mexico’s busiest port.
Patricia made landfall on Friday evening at Playa Perula in the state of Jalisco, Mexico's meteorological service has reported.
Hurricane Patricia is estimated to much more powerful than Hurricane Andrew in 1992 and Hurricane Katrina in 2005. The World Meteorological Organization has compared Patricia to the Haiyan typhoon which struck the Philippines in November 2013. Haiyan killed more than 6,300 people and destroyed 90 percent of the city of Tacloban in the Leyte province.
The U.S. issued an advisory to Americans in Mexico to steer clear of beaches and rough seas and to take shelter as instructed by Mexican officials. The National Hurricane Center has also warned about huge swells, which will cause massvie surf and rip tide conditions.
In addition to being a category five storm, Hurricane Patricia is expected to drop more than 12 inches of rain and cause flash floods and mudslides.
Puerto Vallarta has been boarding businesses and homes and domestic flights have been delayed.
Mexico governent has prepared shelters and warned people in the states of Colima, Jalisco and Michoacan to get ready for the massive hurricane.
Meanwhile, none of Pemex oil and gas installations are in the projected path of the storm.
The National Weather Service speculates that the El Nino weather phenomenon has contributed to Patricia’s accelerated growth. The waters in the Gulf of Mexico are about three degrees warmer than usual due to El Nino.