This is Patricia. As seen from the space station. Somewhere under there is Mexico.
She made landfall this evening at around 6:00 pm, as a category 5 hurricane (190+ mph winds), on the southwest coast of Mexico (Manzanillo, Puerto Vallarta). Its eye was 10 km (6 miles) across... Very small, very dangerous.
Since landfall, it has already weakened to a category 4... But the danger is a long way from being over. It's not about the record-breaking ocean surge, or those 200+ kilometer-per-hour winds. The main concern is rain.
In 48 hours, the area could receive 40% of its yearly rainfall.
And then there's that cold front coming from the north. Which will barrel right onto Patricia as she moves inland.
By all calculations, this is going to be a major, horrible disaster. Because once this monster gets past the coastline, it's going to slam into a huge mountain range (the Sierra Madre Occidental). There will be landslides. There will be floods. There will be whole towns swallowed by mud.
So here's the thing. Mexico appreciates your prayers, and your light- and love-sending. Really, they do. But if you're of the more—uhm, practical kind of mind, please do prepare to help in more realistic ways: contact relief organizations and animal shelters (why is it no one thinks of the animals when cataclysm hits?); contact your local Red Cross and donate blood and whatever supplies you can; organize your community to collect water and non-perishables that can be forwarded to the affected communities; contact authorities to inquire about (and maybe organize) relief actions...
The world is a village. We need each other. Over the coming weeks (hopefully not months), Mexico will need you.
Easy ways to help:
And, on behalf of all Mexico, muchísimas gracias.