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Category 5 Hurricane Patricia Aims for Mexico

Hurricane Patricia Hurricane Patricia (Photo: /NOAA)
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Hurricane Patricia is heading toward Mexico as a Category 5 storm — the largest one ever in the Western Hemisphere, according to the Associated Press. The National Hurricane Center (NHC) says Patricia will make “potentially catastrophic landfall” in the southwestern part of the country later today.

Mexican officials declared a state of emergency in dozens of municipalities, and tens of thousands of people are being evacuated, including from the popular resort area of Puerto Vallarta, the AP reports.

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With maximum winds sustained at 200 miles per hour, Patricia's strength is similar to that of Typhoon Haiyan, which hit the Philippines two years ago and left 7,300 dead or missing.

According to the NHC, “Patricia is expected to produce total rainfall accumulations of 8 to 12 inches, with isolated maximum amounts of 20 inches, over the Mexican states of Nayarit, Jalisco, Colima, Michoacan and Guerrero through Saturday. These rains could produce life-threatening flash floods and mud slides.”

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According to USA Today, “The director of Mexico's National Water Commission says that Hurricane Patricia is powerful enough to lift up automobiles, destroy homes that are not sturdily built with cement and steel and will be able to drag along people caught outside when the storm strikes.”

Just how strong is this storm? This tweet sums it up:

Related: Quiz: How Much Do You Know About Hurricanes?

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