Witnesses are describing this as an image that looks like the end of the world as thousands of residence and tourists fled Jalisco, Colima and Nayarit in Mexico on Friday in preparation for one of the strongest hurricanes on record. Hurricane Patricia has been recorded as a category five hurricane with winds of 165 mph. While many left by bus earlier in the day those that had to stay because there were no more bus tickets or gasoline to get out are taking cover in hotels and schools that have been turned into makeshift shelters.
Officials and meteorologists are expecting catastrophic damage. Not only are the strong winds going to be dangerous there is expected to be up to 20 inches of rain which may result in flash floods and mudslides. The lower income residents are definitely a concern as they are living in poorer parts that may not be well equip to handle the storm.
The government of Mexico had already declared a state of emergency in dozens of municipalities in the states of Colima, Nayarit and Jalisco. Residents had stocked sandbags around properties and rushed to grocery stores to stock up on supplies, The New York Times reports.
According to the weather channel, earlier in the day, Patricia became the most powerful tropical cyclone ever measured in the Western Hemisphere as its maximum sustained winds reached an unprecedented 200 mph (320 kph) and its central pressure fell to 879 millibars (25.96 inches of mercury).
The World Meteorological Organization are comparing the strength of Hurricane Patricia to Typhoon Haiyan which struck in the Philippines in 2013 killing more than 6,000 people.
Earlier today, Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieta said he didn’t want to create panic in the western states of Jalisco, Colima and Nayarit… But stresses it was important for people there to understand the magnitude of the historic storm.