By Benjamin Flowers, Staff Reporter
Post disaster efforts are underway in Mexico after Hurricane Patricia made landfall on Friday night; however reports are that the storm did far less damage than originally predicted.
Patricia, a category 5 storm with peak winds reaching 200 miles per hour, had its strongest sustained winds only as far as 15 miles from the storm’s eye; however the nearest city with more than 100,000 people, Manzanillo, was more than 50 miles away.
Experts said that because the storm made land fall in a sparsely populated area, it kept serious damage to a minimum; however the areas that were affected received massive flooding and wind damage. Flood warnings are still in effect for some areas.
Patricia hit the Mexican state of Jalisco first, where it dumped between eight and 12 inches of rain, also affecting the states of Colima, Michoacan and Guerrero
“The amount of damage is going to be entirely dependent on where the storm hits,” said Sean Sublette, a meteorologist at Climate Central. “If it had been a more heavily populated area, we’d be having a much different conversation.”
By Saturday afternoon, Patricia lost power in the mountains and degenerated into a weak remnant low over northeast Mexico. There was no reported loss of life.
According to The Weather Channel, while a number of typhoons in the western North Pacific have been stronger, Patricia is by far the strongest hurricane in any basin where the term “hurricane” applies to tropical cyclones – namely, the central and eastern North Pacific basins and the North Atlantic basin, which includes the North Atlantic Ocean itself plus the Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean Sea.