The Strongest Hurricane Ever Recorded Is Heading for Mexico
Hurricane Patricia is forecast to go ashore between Puerto Vallarta and Manzanillo on Friday with winds as high as 200 miles (323 kilometers) per hour, or Category 5 major storm strength, according to the U.S. National Hurricane Center in Miami.
The “extremely dangerous” Patricia will hit Mexico with life-threatening mudslides and flash floods and may reach into Texas with flooding rain as a record-setting year for tropical systems continues, according to the National Weather Service.
“With this type of wind the damage is catastrophic; there are very few structures that withstand this” strength of hurricane, Dennis Feltgen, a meteorologist and spokesman for the National Hurricane Center, said Friday by phone from Miami. “The trees are long gone, we’re talking buildings ripped off foundations.”
Patricia is bearing down on a part of Mexico that is home to Pacific beach resort Puerto Vallarta and Manzanillo, the nation’s busiest container port. Manzanillo also has a liquefied natural gas terminal and a rail line operated by Ferromex, a railroad owned by Grupo Mexico SAB and Union Pacific Corp. Guadalajara, Mexico’s second-biggest metropolitan area, is about 125 miles from the coast.
At 2 p.m. East Coast time, the system was about 85 miles (138 kilometers) southwest of Manzanillo and moving north at 12 mph. The international airports in Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco, Manzanillo and Colima were closed yesterday, Mexican civil protection official Jose Maria Tapia said during a press conference.