Hurricane Patricia Moves Inland, Gets Weaker

It hasn't done as much damage as expected, Mexico says
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Oct 24, 2015 5:29 AM CDT
Updated Oct 24, 2015 8:36 AM CDT
Residents and tourists take refuge in a small shelter as they await the arrival of Hurricane Patricia in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, Friday, Oct. 23, 2015.    (Rebecca Blackwell)
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(Newser) – Record-breaking Hurricane Patricia pushed rapidly inland over mountainous western Mexico early Saturday, weakening to tropical storm force while dumping torrential rains that authorities warned could cause deadly floods and mudslides. Patricia, which peaked as the strongest hurricane on record in the Western Hemisphere, made landfall Friday on a sparsely populated stretch of Mexico's Pacific coast as a Category 5 storm, avoiding direct hits on the resort city of Puerto Vallarta and the major port city of Manzanillo.

There were reports of some flooding and landslides, but no word of fatalities or major damage as the storm pushed across inland mountains while bypassing the metropolis of Guadalajara overnight. Television news reports from the coast showed toppled trees and lampposts, and inundated streets. Milenio TV carried footage of cars and buses being swept by floodwaters in the state of Jalisco. "The first reports confirm that the damage has been less than those expected from a hurricane of this magnitude," President Enrique Pena Nieto said in a taped address late Friday. He added, however, that "we cannot yet let our guard down." (US astronaut Scott Kelly warned Mexico about the giant storm he saw from space.)

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