RAW: Hurricane Patricia makes landfall on Mexico’s Pacific coast
Hurricane Patricia, the largest ever seen in the Western Hemisphere, made landfall on the Pacific coast of Mexico at around 5:40 p.m., local time, Friday, hitting the municipality of La Huerta in the state of Jalisco. La Huerta is about 90 kilometers northwest of Manzanillo, an important town in Mexico. Roberto Ramirez de la Parra, director of the National Commission of Water (Conagua), confirmed the landfall of the hurricane, which brought along strong winds and heavy rains, with waves raging as eight meters high off the coast of Jalisco, Colima and Michoacan. The maximum sustained winds were 335 km per hour, with gusts of up to 400 km per hour. Billboards and trees were toppled as the hurricane lashed inland through Jalisco and Colima, packing strong winds and heavy rains. Porfirio Mendoza Zambrano, the mayor of the municipality of Coahuayana in Michoacan, told the Mexican news agency, Notimex, that there were landslides on roads and rooftops being torn off in his city.
(Soundbite) Aristotle Sandoval, Governor of Jalisco:
“Here, an alert is given for the people to obey the order and instruction of evacuation. They’d better avoid travel at this time to the coast, until a counter notice is issued.”
Mexican authorities had by then evacuated more than 50,000 people from the three states by Friday afternoon and advised residents and tourists alike to leave the areas. It is estimated more than 400,000 people remained in the affected areas. President Enrique Peña Nieto dispatched 5,000 soldiers, 4,000 sailors and 400 federal police officers to the areas to help with evacuation efforts. Enditem