MEXICO CITY (AP) – Hurricane Roslyn was expected to delivered a treacherous storm surge to parts of Mexico yesterday after ploughing over the Pacific as a powerful Category 4 storm just offshore from the resort of Puerto Vallarta.
The United States (US) National Hurricane Centre said early yesterday that Roslyn had become “extremely dangerous” with maximum sustained winds of 215 kilometres-per-hour.
The storm was forecast “to bring damaging winds, a life-threatening storm surge and flooding rains to portions of west-central Mexico today”, the hurricane centre said.
The centre placed Roslyn’s core about 75 kilometres west of Cabo Corrientes – the point of land jutting into the Pacific south of Puerto Vallarta – and moving north at 19 kilometre-per-hour.
Forecasters said Roslyn likely would pass close to Cabo Corrientes and the Puerto Vallarta region during the night, but warned that those areas would still see high winds, heavy rains and rough surf.
A hurricane warning was in effect for Las Islas Marias and Playa Perula to Escuinapa. A hurricane watch was in effect for the area north of Escuinapa to Mazatlan, the centre said.
The storm was expected to come ashore in Nayarit state. Hurricane Orlene made landfall on October 3 a little farther north in roughly the same region, about 75 kilometres southeast of the resort of Mazatlan.
Hurricane-force winds extended out 45 kilometres from Roslyn’s centre, while tropical-storm-force winds extended out to 130 kilometres, the US hurricane centre said.
A hurricane warning was posted on a stretch of coast from Playa Perula south of Cabo Corrientes north to El Roblito and for the Islas Marias.
Seemingly oblivious to the approaching storm, tourists ate at beachside eateries on Saturday around Puerto Vallarta and smaller resorts farther north on the Nayarit coast where the storm likely was headed.
“We’re fine. Everything is calm, it’s all normal,” said a receptionist, Jaime Cantón at the Casa Maria hotel in Puerto Vallarta. He said that if winds picked up, the hotel would gather up outside furniture “so nothing will go flying”. While skies began to cloud up, waves remained normal, and few people appeared to be rushing to take precautions.
“The place is full of tourists,” said receptionist, Patricia Morales at the Punta Guayabitas hotel in the laid-back beach town of the same name, farther up the coast.
Asked what precautions were being taken, Morales said, “The authorities haven’t told us anything.”
The Nayarit state government said the hurricane was expected to make landfall around the fishing village of San Blas.
The head of the state civil defence office, Pedro Núñez, said, “Right now we are carrying out patrols through the towns, to alert people so that they can keep their possession and keep themselves safe.”