Hurricane Roslyn is strengthening to a Category 4 storm as it nears the coast of Mexico
Hurricane Roslyn strengthened into a major Category 4 storm on Saturday as it headed toward a collision with the Pacific coast of Mexico, possibly north of the resort town of Puerto Vallarta.
The U.S. National Hurricane Center (NHC) said Roslyn had maximum sustained winds of 130 miles per hour early Saturday evening.
The storm was centered about 90 miles southwest of Cabo Corrientes — the point of land that juts into the Pacific south of Puerto Vallarta — and was moving north at 10 mph.
The forecast called for Roslyn to begin moving northeast, putting it on a track that could take it near Cabo Corrientes and the Puerto Vallarta region late Saturday, before reaching the state of Nayarit early Sunday.
Hurricane Orlene made landfall on October 3 a little further north in roughly the same region, about 45 miles southeast of the resort town of Mazatlan.
Mexico’s National Water Commission said rains from Roslyn could cause landslides and flooding. The NHC warned of dangerous storm surge along the coast, as well as up to 10 inches of rain in some areas.
“This precipitation may lead to flash floods and landslides in areas with rugged terrain,” the NHC wrote in an advisory.
The state of Jalisco, where Puerto Vallarta is located, could see 4 to 8 inches of rain, the NHC said.
Hurricane-force winds extended 30 miles from Roslyn’s core, while tropical-storm-force winds extended up to 80 miles, the U.S. Hurricane Center said.
Mexico has issued a hurricane warning covering part of the coast from Playa Perula south of Cabo Corrientes north to El Roblito and for the Islas Marias.
Seemingly oblivious to the danger just hours away, tourists ate at beach restaurants around Puerto Vallarta and smaller resorts further north on the Nayarit coast, where Roslyn was expected to make landfall.
“We are fine. Everything is calm, everything is normal,” said Jaime Cantón, a receptionist at the Casa Maria Hotel in Puerto Vallarta. He said if the winds picked up, the hotel would bundle up the outdoor furniture “so nothing goes flying.”
As the skies began to cloud over, the waves remained normal, and few people seemed to be in a rush to take action; swimmers were still in the sea in Puerto Vallarta.
“The place is full of tourists,” said Patricia Morales, a receptionist at the Punta Guayabitas Hotel in the casual beach town of the same name, further up the coast.
Asked what precautions were taken, Morales said: “They (authorities) didn’t tell us anything.”
The Nayarit state government said the hurricane was expected to make landfall on Sunday around the fishing village of San Blas, about 90 miles north of Puerto Vallarta.
The head of the state’s civil defense office, Pedro Núñez, said: “We are currently patrolling the cities, to warn people so they can protect their property and stay in safer areas.”
In the neighboring state of Jalisco, Governor Enrique Alfaro wrote that 270 people had been evacuated in a town near the hurricane’s expected path and that five emergency shelters had been set up in Puerto Vallarta.
Alfaro said on Twitter that all school activities in the region would be canceled on Saturday and urged people to avoid tourist activities on beaches and in mountainous areas over the weekend.
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