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Hurricane Patricia Aftermath

October 27, 2015

By Paul Homewood   


Now that the dust has settled, I thought I would take a look at the aftermath of Hurricane Patricia. I have scoured the Mexican press, as I suspect they are a good deal more reliable than the hyped nonsense our own media feeds us.


This is what the Mexico News Daily has to say:




Six people died, an estimated 3,500 homes were damaged or destroyed and as many as 25,000 hectares of crops have been affected by Hurricane Patricia after it struck the coast of Jalisco just after 6:00pm Friday.


Six deaths have been attributed to the Category-5 storm that hit the coast with winds over 300 km/h.

Officials said yesterday that two women, one from Argentina and another from Coahuila, were crushed when a tree fell while they and a group of friends were camping in the Tapalpa forest in Jalisco, about 200 kilometers from the coast.

Another woman was hurt and was hospitalized with a back injury, reported Fox News Latino.

The campers were unaware of the hurricane, and many were inside their tents when it struck, according to a report by Televisa.

Four people were killed in an accident on the Colima-Guadalajara highway Friday afternoon during heavy rain and strong winds.

Two more deaths have been reported but not confirmed by authorities. Both occurred as a result of traffic accidents in Tapalpa and Ciudad Guzmán.

Although a census is being conducted to obtain a precise damage assessment, the governor of Colima has already estimated that repairs in his state will cost upwards of 100 million pesos.

Mario Anguiano Moreno said 97 schools and 197 homes had sustained minor damages, as had similar numbers of medical facilities and businesses. More than 6,000 hectares of crops had suffered damages but much of that will be covered by insurance, he said.

Beaches will require a lot of cleaning, the governor said, and money will have to be invested in publicity to encourage tourists to continue visiting.

The state’s Civil Protection office said 2,000 people were housed in temporary shelters during the storm, but most have since returned to their homes. Director Ricardo Urzúa said highways are operational but urged drivers to be cautious because some are not in the best condition.

Wind, rain and overflowing rivers have damaged 8,280 hectares of banana, corn and papaya crops in Jalisco, said the state’s Social Development Secretariat, putting 5,000 people out of work.

In Michoacán, 10,000 hectares of crops are believed damaged, mostly banana and papaya.

Although Hurricane Patricia was forecast to have the potential to inflict catastrophic damage, its effects did not live up to that billing.

However, for communities dependent on agriculture, such as the Michoacán municipality of Coahuayana, the outcome is indeed being called a catastrophe.

Here, 5,600 hectares of banana plantations have been affected, and 1,200 hectares of papaya destroyed. On top of that, there was damage to mango, tamarind, guanabana and corn crops.

“This means that it’s the biggest agricultural catastrophe in the history of the municipality,” said Mayor Porfirio Mendoza, noting that 4,000 families have lost their harvest this year.

Although the Mexican government has been credited with preventing serious damage through timely alerts to populations that could be affected by the hurricane, that wasn’t the case in Arroyo Seco, a small community in the municipality of La Huerta, Jalisco.

But in spite of the absence of official alerts, residents were able to prepare thanks to news reports, said Pedro González, and did what they could to protect their homes from the storm.

In the end, however, it wasn’t enough: only 30 of 150 houses in the village, whose residents make their living from fishing and ecotourism, survived unscathed. The rest suffered damages or were destroyed.

González recalled that Hurricane Jova in 2011, which made landfall in the same area as a Category 2 storm, had hit them hard, but Patricia felt three times worse. However, the effects of Jova on the region were far more severe. In addition to leaving nine people dead it did more than 2.5 billion pesos in damage.



A few points to make:

1) The four killed in the road accident can hardly be counted, as it happened hours before the hurricane even made landfall.

2) Estimates of damage in Colima state are 100 million peso, equivalent to $6 million. Even though neighbouring Jalisco state is not mentioned this is a mere pittance.

We should remember that the 1959 hurricane caused $280 million, at 1959 prices, probably something like $2 billion at today’s prices.

3) Although damage to plantations is mentioned, most appears to be caused by rainfall destroying or spoiling crops. This would be a pretty common event in any tropical storm.

Again, contrast with the 1959 storm, which was said to have blown down “all coconut plantations” in Colima.


As we know, the strongest part of the hurricane hit the area around Cuixmala, between Puerto Vallarta and Manzanilla. The village of Arroyo Seco, mentioned above, was one of the worst affected places.

The Facebook page for Arroyo Seco gives an idea of the flimsy nature of the houses there.


I doubt that many of these would have survived even a Cat 2 storm, without at least the roofs blowing off.    


The Mexbiznews website actually has a picture of the damage at Chamela, which took the direct hit of Pamela Patricia.


Totally destroyed, yes, But look at shacks in the background, relatively undamaged, and the tree remaining upright.



According to the Saffir-Simpson scale:





There is absolutely no way that Patricia made landfall as a Cat 5 storm.

  1. Dr Ken Pollock permalink
    October 27, 2015 12:08 pm

    Good stuff, Paul, but how come Patricia became Pamela half way through?

  2. Ian Magness permalink
    October 27, 2015 12:10 pm

    Yep, the greenies must have been as devastated as Mexico wasn’t by “the storm that didn’t perform.” Didn’t the storm know that the Paris COP was imminent? How inconsiderate not to have killed more and devastated many more lives besides.
    Of course, the amazing amount of coverage that the UK media gave the storm during its build-up was not exactly matched by the amount of reporting in the aftermath. I wonder why not?

  3. dearieme permalink
    October 27, 2015 12:24 pm

    “The four killed in the road accident can hardly be counted, as it happened hours before the hurricane even made landfall.” Oh but they should be counted because they were hurrying on their journey in hopes of avoiding the catastrophic hurricane. Or so my model assures me.

  4. October 27, 2015 3:23 pm

    Steve Goddard agrees with you
    ” record breaking.

    Most hyper-inflated storm in history. A great fundraising opportunity for scientists.
    Least damaging landfalling hurricane in history?”

    and a commenter says this “Turns out there were 6 storms in 2015 with more Accumulated Cyclone Energy (ACE) !!
    Seems the only records Patricia broke, is for amount of hype & misinformation/ lies generated.… There are ten notes at the bottom of that page that give some observations about ACE and cyclone actions.”

    Delingpole has an article satirizing the real predictions of mad alarmist journalists

  5. October 27, 2015 4:24 pm

    Reblogged this on Green Living 4 Live.

  6. Hiru permalink
    December 28, 2015 8:40 pm

    I will have to disagree with you regarding the non evacuation here in the Philippines specially for Tacloban city. We get hit by storm often and part of our population evacuates even without notice form the government. If you study the map of Tacloban city we are surrounded by sea. The evacuation procedures we used are normal evacuation procedures.

    So why did a lot of people die if they evacuated? Because they left theyre flood prone homes in favor of non flood prone locations which was hit by storm surges instead. If they would have stayed in theier homes they would not have been in danger of the storm surges!

    V&G subdivision houses most of our population and is evacuated every storm. You are correct to assume that some people dont leave for fear of looting. But you are also partly incorrect. The family evacuates but leave 1 or 2 male member to guard their houses. V&G was not affect by storm surges. The main evacuation center of Tacloban city is the Astrodome. It was by the sea in a reclaimed area. Storm surge there rose to more than 6m. Other evacuation sites are public schools. 2 of them are inside downtown area which storm surges rose to at least 3m. 1 of them along real street which is by the sea. thats 5-6m.

    One of the key difference in preparation is the involvement of the federal govt and the non involvement of the PH national govt. Also the failure of NDRRMC to provide proper guidance.

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