On October 24, Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto toured areas in southwest Mexico affected by Hurricane Patricia. The hurricane’s 200-mph winds at landfall and accompanying torrential rains left surprisingly little damage in her wake.
While poorer areas with flimsy structures endured considerable damage, Peña Nieto said he was glad the damage was not as bad as the nation feared.
According to NBC News, several hotels in the port city of Manzanillo were damaged as the hurricane made landfall. Cement power poles were snapped in the storm, and part of the main highway toward the coast near Colima collapsed. In some villages, entire homes were destroyed.
I’ve lost everything, I don’t even have anywhere to sleep,” Roberto Gonzalez, a farmer, told Reuters as he salvaged belongings from mangled debris of trash, toys and branches strewn across his hamlet of Chamela near the coast of Jalisco state, which took a direct hit.
Although Hurricane Patricia was a monster Category 5 storm when it made landfall, it was very quickly downgraded to a mere low pressure system within 24 hours as it sped across Mexico’s rugged central mountain range. It was sheer luck that Patricia landed in and traversed a largely rural, sparsely-populated part of Mexico. The metro Guadalajara area (population 1.4 million) and cities of Manzanillo and Puerto Vallarta were almost completely spared from the high winds.
Sylvia Longmire is a border security expert and Contributing Editor for Breitbart Texas. You can read more about cross-border issues in her latest book, Border Insecurity: Why Big Money, Fences, and Drones Aren’t Making Us Safer.