Mexico Braces for 'Potentially Catastrophic' Hurricane Patricia

PHOTO: Hurricane Patricia is taking aim on Mexico, with sustained winds measured at 200 miles per hour.PlayNOAA/EPA
WATCH Category 5 Hurricane Patricia Nears Mexico's Pacific Coast

Patricia, the strongest eastern Pacific hurricane on record with 200-mile-per-hour sustained winds, is slated to make landfall in Mexico later today.

The hurricane was located about 160 miles away from Manzanillo, Mexico, at 4 a.m. local time, according to the National Hurricane Center. The Category 5 hurricane’s landfall could be “potentially catastrophic” for southwestern Mexico, the National Weather Service reported, with rainfall totals of 20 inches expected in some areas.

A hurricane warning -- meaning hurricane conditions are expected in the region within the next 24 hours -- is in effect for east of Punta San Telmo to Lazaro Cardenas.

NWS expects the hurricane to turn toward the north this morning before making landfall this afternoon or evening.

Ahead of the storm, residents of Mexico’s Pacific Coast boarded up homes and bought supplies, and states of emergency were declared in dozens of municipalities.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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