Once a megastorm, Patricia inflicts little damage on Mexican coast, weakens and moves inland
CHAMELA, Mexico (AP):
Just a day after menacing Mexico as one of history's strongest storms, Hurricane Patricia left surprisingly little damage in its wake Saturday and quickly dissipated into a low-pressure system that posed little threat beyond heavy rain.
The hurricane's most powerful punch landed on a sparsely populated stretch of Mexico's Pacific Coast before the system crashed into mountains that sapped its potentially catastrophic force. The popular beach city of Puerto Vallarta and the port of Manzanillo were spared the brunt of the violent weather.
Authorities were still checking on some isolated areas, where roads had been blocked by downed trees, but the devastation appeared to be far less than feared.
There were no reports of deaths or injuries, said Roberto Lopez Lara, interior secretary for the state of Jalisco. Later, President Enrique PeÒa Nieto reported that between 3,000 and 3,500 homes had been damaged and the storm also affected 3,500 hectares (about 8,650 acres) of farmland. He said 235,000 people had lost electricity when the storm hit, and about half had power restored by Saturday.
It was a remarkable outcome, considering that Patricia had once been a Category 5 hurricane with winds up to 200 mph (325 kph) before coming ashore with slightly less power in an area dotted with sleepy villages and a few upscale hotels.