Hurricane Patricia: No major damage reports but flooding and landslide threat remains

Emergencies, General, Media Releases, News article written on the 25 Oct 2015

Mexico’s coastal towns may have been spared the worst when super storm Hurricane Patricia reduced rapidly in intensity on making landfall, but as the storm continues to make its way across the country, the threat of flooding and landslides remains, Oxfam said.

Oxfam’s rapid assessment teams are today travelling to affected communities to survey damage caused by the hurricane, particularly in poor and marginalised communities.

Oxfam Chief Executive Helen Szoke said thankfully the storm, originally rated category five and the most powerful storm on record in the region, became a category 4 storm on reaching land.

“It is early days, but there have been no reports of loss of life so far, and while there is damage to buildings and power poles down, no severe infrastructure damage has been reported,” Dr Szoke said.

“However, the Mexican Government and authorities have urged people not to be complacent. We have already seen reports of flooding and there is a high risk of further flooding, and landslides. Ash from the Colima volcano, combined with heavy rain, could also trigger huge mudflows.“

Hurricane Patricia became the strongest hurricane ever known to make landfall on the Pacific coast of Mexico after the centre of its eye crossed the coast of Jalisco state early Friday evening.

Affected states include Oaxaca, Guerrero, Michoacán, Colima, Jalisco, Nayarit, Zacatecas and Aguascalientes. Some roads are closed due to small landslides, fallen trees and floods.

Oxfam will continue to make damage and needs assessments and closely monitor the storm’s progress.

“Oxfam is working with the Government of Mexico, who are leading on the response. We remain ready to assist if required,” Dr Szoke said.

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