Hurricane Patricia to Hit Mexico as Category 5
MANZANILLO – As Hurricane Patricia gets nearer in the Mexican coasts, it gets into a monstrous storm labeled as Category 5. As forecasted, it would hit the Mexico’s central Pacific Coast late Thursday. According to forecasters, it could be ‘potentially catastrophic’. It could be a tragic blow, thus alarming the Mexican government. Officials declared state of emergency and distributed sandbags for the preparation for expected flooding.
Manzanillo, one of Mexico’s principal ports experienced steady rain late Thursday which is ahead of the expected landfall on Friday. Mexico’s civil defense coordinator Luis Felipe Puente said, schools would be closed in Colima state.
Gabriel Lopez, an employee of Las Hadas Hotel said, “We are calm. We don’t know what direction (the storm) will take, but apparently it’s headed this way. … If there is an emergency we will take care of the people. There are rooms that are not exposed to wind or glass.”
Accordingly, officials were warned by the U.S. National Hurricane Center in Miami saying that rushed and complete preparations is needed since coastal flooding, destructive waves and flash floods are expected.
Meteorologist Dennis Feltgen said that “This is an extremely dangerous, potentially catastrophic hurricane.”
On the other hand, Colima state’s civil defense agency Luz Adriana Limon Rojas said that drainage problems during storms are also expected. She said, “The neighborhood leaders have come for sacks to fill with sand.”
A state of emergency is declared by the federal government for the 56 municipalities in the state of Colima, Nayarit and Jalisco. These areas are expected to be adversely affected by the storm.
Accordingly, Patricia’s maximum sustained winds by late Thursday would increase to 160 mph and is under Category 5 storm. Category 5 is said to be the highest designation on the Saffir-Simpson scale. Saffir-Simpson scale is used in gauging wind strength of a hurricane.
The eye of the hurricane is located about 2320 kilometers south-southwest of Manzanillo and was heading northwest at 20 kph on a projected track to come onshore between Manzanillo and Puerto Vallarta between Friday afternoon and evening.
According to the forecast, the typhoons weakened but still authorities said it would still be “extremely dangerous” when it hits the land.
Several coastal areas are under hurricane watch or tropical storm warning covering San Blas to Punta San Telmo, a stretch of coast that includes Manzanillo and Puerto Vallarta.
According to Hurricane Center, Patricia was expected to have rainfall of six to twelve inches with isolated amounts of up to twenty inches in some areas. Furthermore, the center said “Tropical storm conditions were expected to reach land late Thursday or early Friday, complicating any remaining preparation work at that point.”
Aside from Mexico, Patricia also affects Texas, said Feltgen. In an interview he said that forecast models show that storm’s aftermath include remnants of its tropical moisture would probably combine with and expectedly result to heavy rainfall that is already soaking Texas.
Felgen added, “It’s only going to make a bad situation worse.”