MEXICO CITY (Sputnik) — About 10,000 people have been evacuated from various hotels, located in the projected path of the strongest hurricane ever recorded in the Americas, the Mexican authorities said Friday.
The category five hurricane Patricia, with winds of 200 miles per hour, is expected to make landfall on the coast of Mexico later in the day. A state of emergency has been declared in 56 Mexican municipalities.
The local authorities urged people to keep away from streets of the town to minimize the number of possible casualties.
According to governor of the Jalisco State, Jorge Aristoteles Sandoval Diaz, the federal center has sent to Puerto Vallarta additional 800 federal police officers to protect commercial buildings and houses from looting after possible damage from the hurricane.
Significant coastal flooding is expected near Puerto Vallarta, as well as in the Manzanillo area.
Also, the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has recommended residents of the Pacific coast of Mexico to evacuate as soon as possibl, the US Embassy in Mexico said in a warning.
“Persons located inland in the path of Hurricane Patricia should take appropriate measures to ensure their safety,” the US Embassy said. “NOAA recommends that residents in low-lying areas near the coast in the hurricane warning area evacuate immediately.”
“It is now considered one of the most powerful and dangerous hurricanes in recorded history,” the US Embassy noted.