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Mexico braces for ‘strongest storm ever recorded’

Mexico is scrambling to prepare as Hurricane Patricia, one of the strongest storms ever recorded, hurtles towards its Pacific Coast.

The strengthening winds on Friday prompted the evacuation of thousands of tourists and residents and a rush for emergency supplies.

The US National Hurricane Centre said the Category 5 storm was the strongest ever recorded in the Western Hemisphere, and the World Meteorological Organisation compared it to 2013’s Typhoon Haiyan, which killed thousands in the Philippines.

The storm was expected to make landfall on Friday afternoon or early evening, the NHC added. In its path lies a patchwork of exclusive getaways favored by tech billionaires and pop stars, as well as package vacation resorts, a major cargo port and modest fishing villages.

Ramping up their warnings as the storm drew closer, Mexican officials said the unprecedented hurricane could wreak catastrophic damage.

“The hurricane is so strong that it could cross the country’s two Sierra Madre mountain ranges, the two most mountainous regions, and come out the other side of the country along the Gulf of Mexico and head to the United States,” said Roberto Ramirez, the head of federal water agency, Conagua.

Hotel workers in Puerto Vallarta said efforts had begun to start evacuating guests, but others said they were still waiting to be told where to send them, the Reuters news agency reported.

Aristoteles Sandoval, the governor of Jalisco state, expected 15,000 people to be evacuated from Puerto Vallarta.

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Posted By Bobricky On 09:46 Fri, 23 Oct 2015

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