by Staff Writers
Manzanillo, Mexico (AFP) Oct 11, 2011
Mexico's Pacific coast was on alert for Hurricane Jova, packing torrential rains and a risk of dangerous mudslides Tuesday just as athletes from around the world began arriving for this week's Pan American Games.
The Miami-based US National Hurricane Center said in its 1500 GMT bulletin that Jova was packing maximum sustained winds of 185 kilometers (115 miles) per hour and was 190 kilometers (120 miles) southwest of Manzanillo, in Colima state. Jova was moving north-northeast at seven kilometers (five miles) per hour.
Officials they expect that any damage from the powerful storm can be cleared away in time for the start of the two-week-long competition, one of the premier events on the global sports calendar.
"It is not expected at this time that Jova will have a major adverse effect on the games," said Laura Gurza, an official with the federal civil protection office.
The Pan American games set were to get underway Friday in Guadalajara, the state capital of Jalisco, some 320 kilometers from the coast, with some events to be held at sites closer to the coast.
The event was to be held from October 14-30 in various cities, including Guadalajara, Ciudad Guzman, Puerto Vallarta, Lagos de Moreno and Tapalpa.
Nevertheless, officials declared an "orange alert" in coastal areas of Jalisco, as the first of an expected 6,000 athletes from 42 nations began arriving Tuesday -- just as initial bands of rain from the storm began to be felt in Guadalajara.
Mexican authorities have placed four southern coastal states on high alert ahead of the expected arrival of the storm, which registered a category three on the five-notch Saffir-Simpson scale.
"The center of the hurricane will be near the coast of Mexico in the hurricane warning area by this afternoon or evening," the NHC said, adding it expected the storm to reach the coast at "near major hurricane strength."
Mexico has issued hurricane alerts for large swaths of the Pacific coast, which disaster officials said poses a "huge danger" to life and property.
A zone of some 500 kilometers (300 miles) could be affected by the storm, stretching from the port of Lazaro Cardenas in Michoacan to the popular tourist area of Cabo Corrientes in Jalisco.
Colima, Jalisco, Michoacan and Nayarit state to the north were all put on guard for possible landslides from heavy rain expected to be dumped by the ninth Pacific hurricane of the season.
"A dangerous storm surge is expected to produce significant coastal flooding near and to the east of where the center makes landfall," the NHC warned.
The surge, said the hurricane center, "will be accompanied by large and destructive waves" as well as torrential rainfall with accumulations of up to 20 inches (50 centimeters) in some areas.
"These rains could cause life-threatening flash floods and mudslides over mountainous terrain," the NHC said.
Several major storms or hurricanes have buffeted Mexico's Pacific coast in recent months but most have remained offshore.
The season's first named storm, Arlene, left at least 16 people dead and drenched much of the country in July.
Tropical storms and hurricanes last year caused flooding and mudslides in Mexico that killed 125 people, left hundreds of thousands homeless and caused more than $4 billion in damage.
Bringing Order To A World Of Disasters
When the Earth Quakes
A world of storm and tempest
Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.
A 3D Look at Philippe Provided Clues of Transition into a Hurricane
Greenbelt MD (SPX) Oct 11, 2011
Tropical Storm Philippe took its time to strengthen into a hurricane because of wind shear problems. The wind shear lessened, and Philippe became a hurricane, after 12 days of moving across the Atlantic Ocean. NASA's TRMM satellite saw towering thunderstorms and intense rainfall within Philippe yesterday, which provided forecasters with a clue that the storm was strengthening. Philippe rea ... read more
|The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2011 - Space Media Network. AFP and UPI Wire Stories are copyright Agence France-Presse and United Press International. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement|