The United States National Hurricane Center (NHC) reported that Hurricane Lidia intensified to category 4 in the waters of the Mexican Pacific, becoming an “extremely dangerous” phenomenon. Just 175 km from the seaside resort of Puerto Vallarta, in the state of Jalisco, the population is rushing to take precautionary and protective measures in anticipation of its arrival.
With maximum sustained winds of 220 km/h and moving at 26 km/h, Lidia remains in category 4 of the Saffir-Simpson scale, which consists of 5 levels. In Puerto Vallarta, hundreds of residents seek shelter from the heavy rains, while businesses remove their merchandise and protect their windows.
The suspension of classes in the area and the closing orders at 2 p.m. local (20H00 GMT) for merchants are part of the precautionary measures implemented. Civil protection authorities have urged the population in risky areas to evacuate and take shelter.
The NHC warns of “dangerous winds” and the possibility of flooding due to rain. The center of the hurricane is expected to make landfall on the west-central coast of Mexico in the afternoon or evening of the same day.
The president of Mexico, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, announced that civil protection bodies are on alert and that around six thousand elements of the Armed Forces have been deployed to assist the population.
It has been officially established that the most affected areas will range from the state of Colima to Nayarit. Lidia will bring torrential rains to several states in western Mexico.
Mexico is prone to hurricanes due to its extensive coastline on both the Pacific and Atlantic. Hurricane Patricia in 2015 and Hurricane Wilma in 2010 are examples of devastating storms that have impacted the country. In October 2015, Patricia, the most powerful hurricane ever recorded, made landfall in an uninhabited area, minimizing human losses but causing significant property damage.