A day after lashing Mexico’s coast as a Category 5 hurricane, Patricia weakened dramatically overnight. The storm – the strongest ever recorded in the Western Hemisphere — was downgraded late Saturday morning to a Tropical Depression with winds speeds in the 35 mph range.
Although reports of damage are minimal, and officials have expressed cautious optimism, sustained rains could exceed 15 inches in certain inland areas. Rainfall in such amounts raises the risk of flash floods, breached riverbanks, and mudslides. It may be another 24 hours before the storm’s impact on rural communities is entirely understood.
Footage from last night and this morning: Manzanillo, Mexico
As the situation evolves, Direct Relief will remain in close communication with Mexico-based agencies and health facilities along the storm’s projected path. Should the need for assistance arise, up to $40 million in medicines and supplies is available to deploy from Direct Relief’s warehouse.
Direct Relief is also monitoring the storm’s approach toward Texas, where a separate storm caused extensive flooding earlier in the week. Should Patricia result in more severe floods, Direct Relief prepositioned emergency medical modules at ten health facilities in Texas and has staff there to assess further needs.