by Staff Writers
Mexico City (AFP) Oct 22, 2015
Fast-moving Patricia grew into an "extremely dangerous" major hurricane off Mexico's Pacific coast on Thursday, forecasters said, warning of possible landslides and flash flooding.
The US National Hurricane Center said "preparations should be rushed to completion" as Patricia increased ominously from a category two to a category four storm in the five-level Saffir-Simpson scale.
Packing maximum sustained winds of 215 kilometers (130 miles) per hour, the hurricane was expected to strike the coast on Friday afternoon or evening, the Miami-based center said.
Forecasts show that Patricia could make landfall in the western state of Jalisco, near the border with Colima state.
The center said its "hurricane hunter" aircraft found that Patricia had become an "extremely dangerous" hurricane.
Emergency services personnel were being moved from other states to the threatened region, said Mexico's National Water Commission director Roberto de la Parra.
"It is moving much faster than hurricanes we have had in the past," de la Parra told a news conference.
Mexican officials closed schools in Colima and Guerrero state.
Two dams in Jalisco and Michoacan were being drained to prevent flooding while residents were advised to protect their windows with large tape in the form of a cross.
The region includes the major port of Manzanillo, Colima state, and the tourist resort of Puerto Vallarta in Jalisco.
At 1800 GMT, Patricia was 445 kilometers south of Manzanillo and 385 miles southwest of the port of Lazaro Cardenas, according to the US hurricane center.
The storm was moving west-northwest at 28 kilometers per hour.
Patricia is expected to produce six to 12 inches (15 to 30 centimeters) of rainfall accumulations over the states of Jalisco, Colima, Michoacan and Guerrero, which could produce flash floods and mudslides, the US center said.
The storm surge could also produce coastal flooding, accompanied by "large and destructive waves," it warned.
The Mexican National Water Commission warned that rivers could rise and roads could be affected by the bad weather.
- Wind force causes concern -
Mexico's interior ministry activated its emergency response committee to coordinate the response.
Officials said nearly 1,800 shelters for 259,000 are available, but no evacuations have been ordered so far.
"The amount of water and the strength of the wind worry us," national civil protection coordinator Luis Felipe Puente told a news conference.
The states of Jalisco, Michoacan, Colima and Nayarit are expected to get the equivalent of 40 percent of their annual rainfall in the next 48 hours, the National Water Commission said.
Mexico faces the double threat of Atlantic and Pacific tropical storms during the hurricane season, which ends November 30.
In 2013, twin storms Ingrid and Manuel nearly simultaneously struck each coast, leaving 157 people dead in a rare double onslaught.
Bringing Order To A World Of Disasters
When the Earth Quakes
A world of storm and tempest
|The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2017 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news 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. All articles labeled "by Staff Writers" include reports supplied to Space Media Network by industry news wires, PR agencies, corporate press officers and the like. Such articles are individually curated and edited by Space Media Network staff on the basis of the report's information value to our industry and professional readership. 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|