Hurricane Patricia became the strongest storm ever measured on the planet early Friday, with experts warning it could trigger 40-foot waves along Mexico’s coast and “life-threatening” flash flooding.
More than 7 million residents were told to prepare for the “worst-case scenario” as Patricia was expected to race ashore on Mexico’s Pacific coast between 6 p.m. and 10 p.m. ET Friday. The tourist magnets of Puerto Vallarta and Manzanillo were directly in the Category 5 storm’s projected path.
Packing 200 mph winds, the U.S. National Hurricane Center described Patricia as the “strongest hurricane on record” in the Atlantic and eastern North Pacific Basins.
More than 50,000 people are being evacuated.