Initial Reports Indicate No Major Damage, Deaths from Record-Breaking Hurricane
Hurricane Particia Leaves Coastal Towns Picking Up the Pieces (AJ+)
Update: 6 Deaths in Mexico Linked to Hurricane Patricia (EFE)
Related: Want to Help Hurricane Patricia Victims? Here's How (The Arizona Republic)
Early reports in the aftermath of Hurricane Patricia — one of the biggest storms to ever make landfall — were cautiously optimistic: No deaths were reported and no signs of major damage were seen along Mexico's Pacific seaboard.
TV stations in Mexico broadcast news on Hurricane Patricia throughout the night, showing bright red satellite images of the monster storm's landfall on the Pacific Coast, its slow trudge northeast and interviews with residents and officials near the impacted area.
Landslides and flash floods were reported, but the mass evacuations that occurred prior to the hurricane's arrival appeared to have worked in saving lives. There were no deaths initially reported or major infrastructure damage, according to early TV reports. Residents from Colima to Puerto Vallarta heeded the warnings and evacuated out of dangerous areas or stayed indoors.
By 7 a.m. EDT Saturday, Patricia was downgraded to a tropical storm with sustained winds of 50 mph, a sharp drop from the 200 mph winds it produced at its peak, according to the the U.S. National Hurricane Center. By afternoon, it is expected to be only a tropical depression.
Still, emergency crews were awaiting the first light of day to make a broader assessment. The coastal highway from Puerto Vallarta to Barra de Navidad, 140 miles south, was impassable due to mudslides as was the highway from Manzanillo, on the coast, inland to Colima, the capital of the state of Colima.
Aristóteles Sandoval Díaz, governor of the state of Jalisco, which took the brunt of the storm, confirmed that no fatalities had yet been reported, according to local media.
Mario Anguiano, governor of the state of Colima, which includes the coastal city of Manzanillo, toured the impacted area just before midnight Friday – nearly six hours after Patricia's landfall – and saw minor damage to buildings and roads but said there were no reported deaths or major damage to infrastructure, such as downed bridges.
"The saving of lives has been exceptional," he said in an interview with Milenio Television.
Read the rest at USA Today
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