The world's strongest hurricane in recorded history was expected to make landfall in southwestern Mexico Friday and wreak havoc on the communities and populations in its path.
The most likely tourist destinations to be impacted in a severe way by Hurricane Patricia were Puerto Vallarta and Manzanillo. Of the top destination spots in the country, Cabo San Lucas seemed to be somewhat likely to feel the effects of Hurricane Patricia and just barely fit in the rough borders of the government's advisory zone. Twitter users visiting the coastal city, however, mocked the idea that hurricane conditions in Cabo were at all bad and posted photos of themselves dramatically yawning and posing in a pool with the sun out Friday afternoon. The hurricane had wind speeds reach 200 miles per hour Friday morning, and was approaching the Pacific coast of Mexico at a rate of about 10 miles per hour.
Patricia was classified as a Category 5 hurricane Friday morning and afternoon, though it was not certain how fast the winds would be moving once it actually made landfall.
State Tourism Director Juan Carlos Gonzalez Hernandez said there were about 83,000 tourists in the state, with about 45,000 of those in stretch of coast south of Cancun that includes Tulum and Playa de Carmen, and almost 28,000 in Cancun.


Cancun Tourism Director Maximo Garcia said authorities had asked hotel managers to warn tourists of the hurricane.
In Cancun's hotel zone, a string of pickup trucks hauled small boats and jet skis away from marinas, while workers at shopping malls began boarding up windows. Three cruise ships from the company Norwegian and one from Royal Caribbean have canceled their Friday port of call in the area, said Hiram Toledo, Quintana Roo port administrator. The area was badly damaged by Hurricane Wilma in 2005, when Cancun's famous white-sand beaches were largely washed away. The hurricane was centered about 250 miles (405 kilometers) southeast of Cozumel Tuesday afternoon and was moving west at near 3 mph (6 kph), the Hurricane Center said.
Forecasters said Rina was likely to strengthen into a Category 3 hurricane with sustained winds of about 115 mph (185 kph) by night.


The forecast track shows it curving east toward Cuba by the weekend, but senior hurricane specialist Michael Brennan at the hurricane center said it could also move toward southern Florida. The center said the storm could produce as much as 16 inches (40 centimeters) of rain over at least parts of the eastern Yucatan Peninsula while raising water levels by as much as 5 to 7 feet (about a meter) in places.
Hurricane Patricia strengthened into one of the most powerful storms in history Friday as it barreled toward Mexico's Pacific Coast, forcing resort hotels to evacuate tourists and residents to stockpile supplies. Forecasters predict it will strengthen as it nears the Mexican coast Wednesday night before rolling over the island of Cozumel, a popular dive spot and cruise-ship port, then along the coast to Cancun.



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