MONTERREY, MEXICO (REUTERS, AFP) – The United States National Hurricane Centre (NHC) warned of torrential rains, life-threatening flash flooding and mudslides as Hurricane Nora made landfall on Saturday (Aug 28) evening on the north-west coast of the Mexican state of Jalisco.
After making landfall near Vicente Guerrero, the Category 1 hurricane has continued northward near the coast, NHC said.
Videos posted on social media showed storm surges flooding roads and fierce winds lashing buildings and downing trees.
Hurricane warnings have been issued for coastal stretches of the states of Colima, Nayarit and Jalisco, the agency said.
As it passed through Jalisco on Saturday night, the hurricane brought heavy rain that “will likely result in life-threatening flash flooding and mudslides” across Mexico’s west coast over the weekend, the NHC said.
On Saturday night, the hurricane was moving along the coast with sustained winds of 120km an hour, the NHC reported, adding little change in speed was expected.
“A storm surge is expected to produce significant coastal flooding in areas of onshore winds. Near the coast, the surge will be accompanied by large and destructive waves,” it said.
“Nora is expected to produce rainfall totals of 8 to 12 inches (20-30 cm) with maximum amounts of 20 inches this weekend into early next week,” according to the NHC’s latest advisory.
The agency also warned that swells generated by the hurricane could produce “life-threatening surf and rip current conditions” on the southern and south-western coast of Mexico.
As of 7pm Central Standard Time, Nora was located about 48km south-south-west of Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, packing maximum sustained winds of 129km per hour.
From the western coast of Mexico, the hurricane is then projected to approach and move into the Gulf of California on Sunday and Monday. It could also turn east and move further inland where it will dissipate, the NHC said.
Mexican authorities have so far not reported any injuries but Jalisco governor Enrique Alfaro tweeted that relief efforts have “intensified” with 500 homes affected by an overflowing stream.
Authorities on alert
“During the passage of Hurricane Nora, under no circumstances should you go out on the streets or attempt to cross bodies of water,” the Jalisco Civil Protection department warned on Twitter.
Mexican authorities have set up 15 shelters in Jalisco and deployed first responders to the impact zone.
A mobile kitchen has been set up to distribute 4,500 daily food rations with emergency supplies also being made available, Mr Alfaro said.
In Puerto Vallarta’s tourist district, hotel staff were told to move guests closer to the beach areas and relocate those occupying rooms on the second floors, Ms Martha Rodriguez, director of beach tourism of Jalisco, said.
The town’s international airport had been closed since Saturday afternoon. Landslides and falling trees have forced the authorities to also shut down a stretch of highway in the state.
Last weekend, a Category 3 hurricane hit Veracruz in Mexico’s east, killing at least 11 people.