Businesses in the Puerto Vallarta tourist area in the state of Jalisco, Mexico, have boarded up storefronts in preparation for Hurricane Roslyn’s landfall.

Hurricane Roslyn made landfall on Mexico’s west coast on Sunday as a powerful Category 3 storm, the US National Hurricane Center said, while protecting communities from damaging winds, a dangerous storm surge and flash flooding.

The storm struck near the small town of Santa Cruz in the coastal state of Nayarit around 5:30 a.m. (1130 GMT) with estimated maximum sustained winds of 120 miles (195 kilometers) per hour, the NHC said.

Just hours before reaching the Mexican coast, Roslyn was downgraded from a Category 4 to a Category 3 storm on the five-level Saffir-Simpson Wind Scale, with the NHC forecasting a “rapid weakening” after making landfall.

The NHC and the Mexican Meteorological Service warned of damaging winds, heavy rainfall that could cause flash flooding and landslides and waves up to six meters (20 feet) high along the Pacific coast.

“Roslyn is expected to cause a life-threatening storm surge through Sunday with significant coastal flooding in areas with onshore winds,” the NHC said, adding that near the coast “the wave will be accompanied by large and destructive waves.”

Authorities have issued hurricane warnings for parts of the Pacific coastal states of Jalisco, Nayarit, Sinaloa and Las Islas Marias, about 60 miles offshore.

High winds and rough seas hit the Jalisco resort of Puerto Vallarta, home to some 220,000 people and one of the largest cities in the hurricane-hit area, at around 0900 GMT.

In the town of Bucerias in Nayarit, the downpour turned some roads into rivers.

Residents were on high alert after Roslyn, the most powerful storm yet of the Pacific season, reached Category 4 after forming Friday before it was downgraded.

Hurricane Roslyn was downgraded to a Category 3 storm before making landfall on Mexico’s Pacific coast.

‘Hey every warning’

Jalisco, which will receive up to 10 inches of rain in some places, has set up shelters in the towns of Cabo Corrientes, La Huerta and Puerto Vallarta.

Victor Hugo Roldan, director of civil defense in Jalisco, told reporters on Saturday that several hundred people had been evacuated from the town of La Huerta, close to the hurricane’s expected path.

Most went to relatives’ homes, while some went to shelters, he said.

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Businesses in the resort town began closing on Saturday afternoon on the recommendation of officials.

Residents rushed to make last-minute preparations, although by late Saturday afternoon some tourists were still lounging on the beach or looking in vain for open bars and restaurants.

For 59-year-old mall manager Graciano Pena, the memory of Hurricane Kenna in 2002, which made landfall as a Category 4 damaging agent and left four dead, is still fresh.

“After that experience, we listen to every warning and prepare in advance,” he said.

Other coastal states have also prepared shelters.

Tropical cyclones strike Mexico each year on both the Pacific and Atlantic coasts, usually between May and November.

In late May, Agatha, the season’s first Pacific storm, hit the coast of the southern state of Oaxaca, where heavy rains in mountainous cities killed 11 people.

In October 1997, Hurricane Pauline struck the Pacific coast of Mexico as a Category 4 storm, killing more than 200.

Hurricane Roslyn Approaching Mexico’s Pacific Coast

© 2022 AFP

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