Sunday, October 23, 2022

Hurricane Roslyn strengthens to Category 4 as it barrels toward Mexico

Roslyn could cause "life-threatening surf and rip current conditions", US National Hurricane Center says

(representational) The aftermath of Hurricane Irma.— Unsplash
(representational) The aftermath of Hurricane Irma.— Unsplash

  • Hurricane Roslyn is a powerful Category 4 storm.
  • Roslyn was forecast to move north on Saturday.
  • Some beaches were closed and emergency shelters were opened.

MEXICO CITY: Mexican emergency officials were rushing to finish preparations on Saturday as Hurricane Roslyn, a powerful Category 4 storm, churned toward tourist zones along the country's Pacific coast with expected landfall by morning, the US National Hurricane Center (NHC) said.

Roslyn was forecast to move north on Saturday as it approached west-central Mexico before making landfall along the coast of Nayarit state on Sunday morning, bringing damaging winds, a major storm surge and significant coastal flooding, the NHC said.

Nayarit is home to popular beach destinations like Sayulita and Punta Mita.

Maximum sustained winds were near 130 mph (215 kph), and rainfall of up to 10 inches (25 cm) was expected along the northern coast of Jalisco state, which neighbours Nayarit. On the upper coast of Colima and western Nayarit, up to 8 inches of rainfall was expected.

A hurricane warning was in effect for the coast from Playa Perula to Escuinapa and Las Islas Marias.

Although some weakening was possible beginning on Saturday night, Roslyn was expected to still be near or at major hurricane strength when it makes landfall, the Miami-based forecaster said.

Some beaches were closed and emergency shelters were opened for people who were evacuated in coastal areas in Nayarit and Jalisco, including Puerto Vallarta and La Huerta, according to officials.

A video posted on Twitter by Mexico's civil protection agency showed violent swells crashing into a beach in Nayarit, with a warning to stay out of the water.

"Heavy rainfall could lead to flash flooding and possible landslides in areas of rugged terrain over coastal southwestern and west-central Mexico," the NHC said.

Preparations to protect life and property "should be rushed to completion" for areas under hurricane warnings, it said.

Roslyn could cause "life-threatening surf and rip current conditions" from the coast of west-central Mexico and the southern portion of the Baja California peninsula, the NHC said.