MEXICO CITY, Mexico - Hurricane Patricia strengthened into one of the most powerful storms in history on Friday as it barreled toward Mexico's Pacific Coast, forcing resort hotels to evacuate tourists and residents to stockpile supplies.
Photo by Cynthia Dial
The states of Nayarit, Jalisco, Colima, Michoacan and Guerrero are in Patricia’s path. Mexican authorities declared a state of emergency and all flights to and from popular tourist resorts Puerto Vallarta and Manzanillo were suspended and the cities' airports closed. The major cargo port of Manzanillo was also shut.
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. 15,000 people are expected to be evacuated from Puerto Vallarta.
Hurricane Patricia is expected to make landfall on Friday afternoon or early evening.
President Enrique Peña Nieto warned that the nation has never seen a hurricane this strong and promised special measures to provide protection.
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