With cyclonic winds blowing at a record-breaking 322 km/h, Hurricane Patricia unleashed its destructive force as it hit Mexico on Friday night.
The hurricane, which was given a category 5, the highest possible rating caused trees to bend and resulted in severe flash flooding.. It is estimated that 350 trees had been ripped out of the ground in just one of the Mexican states.
— Alekx_Oficial (@alezrodriguez) October 24, 2015
The storm is now weakening but the worst is yet to come Mexico’s president has warned as reports of flooding and landslides come in before nightfall.
The Guardian reports:
Four hours after making landfall in a relatively unpopulated stretch of Pacific coast, Patricia was downgraded to a category four hurricane and then to a category two storm.
The hurricane was now a category one storm, with winds weakening to about 75 mph (120 kph) and was centred about 50 miles (80km) south-southwest of Zacatecas, Mexico. Heavy rain continue to fall.
It moved past Guadalajara, Mexico’s second-biggest metropolis, late on Friday night, with strong winds and heavy rain bringing trees down and causing flash flooding across the city.
At 10pm the National Hurricane Centre said: “Now that Patricia has moved inland, while the coastal threat is decreasing, strong and damaging winds, especially at higher elevations, will persist through Saturday morning.
“Very heavy rainfall is likely to cause life-threatening flash floods and mud slides in the states of Nayarit, Jalisco, Colima, Michoacan and Guerrero through Saturday.”
Mexican authorities received reports of some flooding and landslides but there was no immediate word of fatalities or major damage as the storm moved over inland mountains after nightfall. Mudslides are a big concern now as the torrential rain continues.