Hurricane Patricia is forecast to make landfall Friday evening in Jalisco, Mexico, the Weather Channel reports. With maximum sustained winds of 200 mph per hour, the Category 5 storm is the strongest tropical cyclone ever measured in the Western Hemisphere.
At 4 a.m. CDT, the eye of the storm was about 145 miles southwest of Manzanillo, Mexico.
Jalisco, where the storm is forecast to make landfall, includes the popular destinations of Puerto Vallarta, as well as Guadalajara further inland. The adjacent states of Colima and Nayarit could also feel the effects of the storm. The following watches and warnings are in effect:
- A hurricane warning for the Pacific coast of Mexico from San Blas to Punta San Telmo, including Puerto Vallarta and Manzanillo
- A hurricane watch east of Punta San Telmo and Lazaro Cardenas
- A tropical storm warning east of Punta San Telmo and Lazaro Cardenas
Tropical storm conditions are possible early Friday in the warning areas, with hurricane force winds expected to reach the warning area Friday afternoon or evening.
State of Emergency Declared
According to the Vallarta Daily, the Mexican government has declared a state of emergency for 56 municipalities in the projected path of the hurricane.
Evacuations have begun on the Pacific Coast, including an estimated 20,000 in the Vallarta-Nayarit area. In all 50,000 people are expected to be evacuated before Friday afternoon.
In Puerto Vallarta, the city has created 18 shelters to house evacuees. A list of shelters is available here.
Flight Delays and Cancellations
According to Flightstats.com, airlines have begun cancelling flights into Gustavo Diaz Ordaz International Airport (PVR). The most recent list as of 10:20 a.m. is below.
Stay tuned to www.travelagentcentral.com for further updates to this developing story.