Wednesday, October 12, 2011
Hurricane Jova - Enters Mexico with 75MPH winds
Manzanillo, Mexico (CNN) -- Heavy rain remained a "major threat" as Hurricane Jova quickly lost steam after making landfall along Mexico's Pacific coast overnight, the National Hurricane Center said.
Jova -- now a Category 1 storm with 75 mph winds -- is expected to lose much of its punch over western Mexico as the day goes on and become a tropical storm, the center said.
The storm was about 30 miles south of the resort town of Puerto Vallarta at 8 a.m. ET. It was moving north at 9 mph.
"Jova is expected to produce total rainfall accumulations of 6 to 12 inches over the states of Michoacan, Colima, Jalisco and Nayarit, with possible isolated maximum amounts of 20 inches," according to the Hurricane Center said in Miami.
"These rains could cause life-threatening flash floods and mud slides over steep terrain."
Rain was falling in Manzanillo Tuesday ahead of the storm as hotel workers boarded up windows and people filled bags with sand from the beach.
The city's mayor said 36 shelters were open and that authorities built barricades to prevent flooding in areas that typically have problems.
"As for tourists, we told them that unless they have pressing matters in town, they should leave," said Mayor Nabor Ochoa.
About 30 elderly residents were moved from their home to an area shelter ahead of the storm.
"It's not the humans I trust," said 69-year-old Cecilia Sanchez about the preparations being made. "But a God who hears my prayers."
At the shelter where she is staying, the local director of civil protection said officials can't afford to board up windows.
"We know that in the United States they protect (windows) with plywood. We haven't been able to do it here because we don¹t have the resources to do so," said David Sanchez.
"Our main concern is the welfare of the population," Trinidad Lopez, civil protection director in Jalisco state said on Monday. "We're doing everything in our power to protect people."
At least 100 shelters were open, Lopez said. Workers distributed food, cots and blankets, and crews positioned heavy machinery in strategic locations throughout the state, he added.
Mexico's federal government was providing assistance as well. More than 300 soldiers had been deployed and members of the Mexican navy in Puerto Vallarta were on alert, Lopez said.