Hurricane Lidia made landfall Tuesday on Mexico’s Pacific coast as an “extremely dangerous” Category 4 storm, threatening to bring flooding and mudslides, forecasters said.
The government deployed around 6,000 members of the armed forces to help residents, according to President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador.
“You must take refuge in safe places—stay away from low areas, streams, rivers and hillsides,” he wrote on social media.
Lidia came ashore near the popular beach resort of Puerto Vallarta, packing maximum sustained winds of around 140 miles (220 kilometers) per hour, the US National Hurricane Center (NHC) said.
“Life-threatening winds and flooding rainfall spreading inland over west-central Mexico,” it said in a bulletin.
Lidia rapidly strengthened to the second-highest category on the five-step Saffir-Simpson scale before reaching land, according to the NHC.
In Puerto Vallarta—a major destination for Mexican and foreign tourists—shopkeepers earlier boarded up windows and piled up sandbags in case of flooding.
Waves crashed ashore, heavy rain drenched the city and strong winds whipped palm trees.
School classes were suspended, businesses closed early and most residents waited out the storm at home or in shelters opened by the authorities, according to AFP reporters.