Hurricane Patricia, the strongest Category 5 and most dangerous storm that has ever been recorded, has made landfall on the Pacific coast of Mexico, spreading panic among thousands of people along its path as it barrels across the country.
“The eye of the hurricane has already made landfall in Emiliano Zapata” in Jalisco state, near the major port of Manzanillo, said Roberto Ramirez, the National Water Commission director, to Milenio television, adding that authorities were still studying the strength of Patricia’s winds.
According to the commission, Patricia, with an eye of 10 kilometers (6.21 miles) in diameter, has been categorized five, the highest rating possible.
A state of emergency has been declared in three states of the country that are expected to become host of the storm, and tens of thousands of people have already evacuated in advance of the storm.
“We need people to understand the magnitude of the hurricane, it is a devastating hurricane, the biggest one ever registered,” Mexican Interior Minister Miguel Ángel Osorio said earlier in the day.
The US National Hurricane Center had also warned that the storm, now roaring with winds of 305km/h (190mph), could be “potentially catastrophic,” adding that the monster hurricane would bring torrential rain and could trigger life-threatening flash floods, mudslides and destructive storm surge.
“The winds are enough to get a plane in the air and keep it flying,” said Claire Nullis, spokeswoman for the World Meteorological Organization.
The mega storm, which entered from the southwest, is expected to exit the country’s northeast into the northern part of the Gulf of Mexico and possibly the United States.
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