MEXICO CITY (AP) — Hurricane Roslyn reached Category 4 status Saturday as it headed toward Mexico’s Pacific coast, likely north of the tourist hub of Puerto Vallarta.
The US National Hurricane Center said Roslyn’s maximum sustained winds were 130 mph (215 kph) as of mid-afternoon Saturday.
The storm was centered about 180 kilometers (115 miles) south-southwest of Cabo Corrientes, the point of land that juts out into the Pacific south of Puerto Vallarta, and was moving north-northwest at 15 kph (9 mph).
The forecast called for Roslyn to start moving north and then northeast, putting it on a path that could take it near Cabo Corrientes and the Puerto Vallarta region on Saturday night before making landfall in Nayarit state on Sunday. the morning.
Hurricane Orlene made landfall on October 3 a little further north in roughly the same region, about 45 miles (75 kilometers) southeast of the tourist center of Mazatlán.
Hurricane-force winds extended 30 miles (45 kilometers) from Roslyn’s core, while tropical-storm-force winds extended up to 80 miles (130 kilometers), the US Hurricane Center said.
Mexico issued a hurricane warning covering a stretch of the coast from Playa Perula south to Cabo Corrientes north to El Roblito and the Islas Marías.
Seemingly oblivious to the danger just hours away, tourists ate at beachside restaurants around Puerto Vallarta and at smaller resorts further north on the Nayarit coast, where Roslyn was expected to arrive.
“We’re fine. Everything is calm, everything is normal,” said Jaime Canton, a receptionist at the Casa Maria hotel in Puerto Vallarta. He said that if the wind increased, the hotel would pack up the outdoor furniture “so that nothing would fly away.”
While the skies began to cloud over, the waves remained normal and few people seemed to be rushing to take precautions; bathers were still in the sea in Puerto Vallarta
“The place is full of tourists,” said Patricia Morales, receptionist at the Punta Guayabitas hotel in the sleepy beach town of the same name, further up the coast.
When asked what precautions were being taken, Morales said, “They (authorities) haven’t told us anything.”
The Nayarit state government said the hurricane was expected to make landfall on Sunday around the fishing town of San Blas, about 90 miles (150 kilometers) north of Puerto Vallarta.
The head of state civil protection, Pedro Núñez, said: “Right now we are patrolling the towns, to alert people so they can take care of their belongings and stay safe in safer areas.”
In neighboring Jalisco state, Governor Enrique Alfaro wrote that 270 people had been evacuated from a town near the hurricane’s expected path and that five emergency shelters had been set up in Puerto Vallarta.
Alfaro said on Twitter that any school activities in the region would be canceled on Saturday and urged people to avoid tourist activities on beaches and in mountainous areas over the weekend.
The National Water Commission said rains from Roslyn could cause landslides and flooding. and the US hurricane center warned of dangerous storm surge along the coast, as well as 4 to 6 inches (10 to 15 centimeters) of rain.