Hurricane Patricia strengthened into one of the most powerful storms in history today as it barreled toward Mexico’s Pacific Coast, forcing resort hotels to evacuate tourists and residents to stockpile supplies.

According to CNN News, the Miami-based meteorological center, warned of a “potentially catastrophic landfall … in southwestern Mexico” late this afternoon or early evening. While its strength could fluctuate, “Patricia is expected to remain an extremely dangerous Category 5 hurricane through landfall.”

Residents have been told to brace for the Category Four 200-miles per hour sustained winds and torrential rains.

Patricia has potential to cause massive death and destruction over a large swath of the Mexican Pacific coast, including the tourist hot spots of Puerto Vallarta and Acapulco.

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