Hurricane Roslyn strengthened into a major Category 4 storm on Saturday, headed for a collision with Mexico’s Pacific coast, possibly north of the resort of Puerto Vallarta.
The U.S. National Hurricane Center (NHC) reported Rosslyn’s maximum sustained winds of 130 mph Saturday evening.
The storm was centered about 90 miles southwest of Cabo Corrientes — the land point in the Pacific south of Puerto Vallarta — moving northward at 10 mph.
The forecast called for Roslin to begin moving northeastward before making landfall in Nayarit state early Sunday morning.
Hurricane Arlene made landfall on October 3 a little further north in the same area, about 45 miles southeast of the Mazatlan resort.
Mexico’s National Water Commission said rain from Roslin could cause landslides and flooding. The NHC warned of dangerous storm surge for coastal areas and up to 10 inches of rain in some areas.
“These rains may lead to flooding and landslides in areas of rugged terrain,” the NHC wrote in an advisory.
Jalisco state, which includes Puerto Vallarta, could get 4 to 8 inches of rain, the NHC said.
Hurricane-force winds extended 30 miles from the center of Roslyn, while tropical-storm-force winds extended 80 miles, the U.S. Hurricane Center said.
Mexico issued a hurricane warning covering the coast from Playa Perula south of Cabo Corrientes to El Rablito and the Islas Marías in the north.
The danger seemed to have been forgotten within hours, with tourists eating at beach restaurants around Puerto Vallarta and small resorts north of Nayarit Beach, where Roslin was expected to hit.
“We are fine. Everything is calm, everything is normal,” said Jaime Canton, a receptionist at the Casa Maria Hotel in Puerto Vallarta. If the wind blows, the hotel collects furniture outside “so nothing flies,” he said.
The sky began to cloud over, the waves were natural, and some people rushed to take precautions; Swimmers were still in the ocean in Puerto Vallarta.
“This place is full of tourists,” said Patricia Morales, receptionist at the Punta Guapitas Hotel in the coastal town of the same name, not far from the coast.
“They (authorities) haven’t told us anything,” Morales said when asked what precautions were being taken.
The typhoon is expected to make landfall on Sunday around the fishing village of San Blas, about 90 miles north of Puerto Vallarta, the Nayarit state government said.
Pedro Núñez, head of the state civil protection office, said, “Now we are carrying out patrols through the cities to warn people that they can keep their belongings safe and keep themselves safe in safe areas.”
In the neighboring state of Jalisco, Governor Enrique Alfaro wrote that 270 people had been evacuated in a town near the hurricane’s expected path, and five emergency shelters had been set up in Puerto Vallarta.
Alfaro tweeted that any school activities in the area would be canceled on Saturday and urged people to avoid tourist activities on beaches and mountain areas over the weekend.