Despite the fact that it was the most powerful storm ever seen by the Western Hemisphere, it was not the most damaging.
The first reports about Hurricane Patricia that were released over the weekend after the storm made landfall on the west coast of Mexico indicated that there had not been any major damage and that there had not been any deaths.
The early reports were cautiously optimistic that the broad efforts to evacuate affected areas saved lives.
Even though Hurricane Patricia was the most powerful storm of that nature ever to be seen by the Western Hemisphere, it bashed its way across the country toward mountain areas over its first night since landfall and did not leave signs of major damage in the impacted area. Indeed, it did bring about flash floods and landslides, but the tremendous efforts to evacuate the region meant that there were no deaths initially reported. Moreover, there did not appear to be any major infrastructure damage in the early reports on TV reports from the region.
It appears as though the evacuation efforts and warnings about Hurricane Patricia saved lives.
The residents in the areas of Puerto Vallarta and Colima listened to the warnings that were issued and evacuated out of the areas that were considered to be the most dangerous, while those who remained stayed indoors where they were most safe.
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Patricia was downgraded to a tropical storm on 7am (EDT) Saturday, with high winds at 50 mph, but that were considerably lower than the 200 mph winds that had been seen at the peak of the storm. This, according to data issued from the U.S. National Hurricane Center. By the time Saturday afternoon rolled around, it had downgraded even further to become a tropical depression.
Early investigations into the affected areas, which were conducted over the weekend, showed that the coastal highway running from Barra de Navidad to up to Puerto Vallarta had become impassable as a result of mudslides that had covered them over. Similar roadway blockages were discovered on the highway to Manzanillo that ran from that coastal area inland to Colima, where mudslides had also been reported.
By the time of the writing of this article, Governor Aristóteles Sandoval Díaz of the state of Jalisco – which was the state most heavily affected by the storm – had reported that there had not been any reported fatalities. Governor Mario Anguiano of the state of Colima said that there was minor building damage, but no major infrastructure damage (such as fallen bridges) and that there were no reported fatalities.