Baku, October 24, AZERTAC
Hurricane Patricia has made landfall on the coast of Mexico, with hundreds of thousands of people in the path of one of the strongest hurricanes ever recorded, according to the The Guardian.
Patricia is small in surface area but intensely violent in strength. It threatened to be one of the most devastating storms in history as it neared landfall with record sustained winds of 200mph.
More than a third of a million people were in the path of the storm. Mexican authorities have declared a state of emergency.
In the face of winds capable of lifting vehicles and sweeping structures from their bases, the popular holiday resort of Puerto Vallarta and the major port of Manzanillo on the Mexican south-west coast were braced for imminent devastation.
The hurricane was boosted by the El Niño cyclical weather pattern, which has warmed the Pacific waters and whipped up the extreme winds.
The strongest category five winds were swirling in a relatively small radius of five to 10 miles out from the eye of the storm but were likely to have a devastating effect.
The US National Hurricane Center predicted that peak winds of 200mph would be sustained when the storm struck land, which would be the strongest hurricane ever recorded, exceeding super typhoon Haiyan, which struck the Philippines with 195mph winds in 2013.
Patricia will also out-roar historic hurricane Katrina in 2005 and hurricane Andrew of 1992, which hit Louisiana and Florida respectively with incredible force, causing widespread death and destruction.