Congressman Cuellar Issues Alert for U.S. Citizens in Mexico
Today Congressman Henry Cuellar (D-TX-28) issued an alert for U.S. citizens caught in the path of Category 5 Hurricane Patricia bearing down on the west coast of Mexico. The storm, classified as the strongest ever recorded in the Western Hemisphere, is expected to make landfall on the coast of the state of Jalisco later today. Mexican authorities have declared a state of emergency and have warned residents to prepare for the storm. In addition, the Mexican government has activated all of its preparation and response protocols in preparation for the storm.
The United States federal government is closely monitoring the strength and trajectory of the storm. Late this afternoon the Department of State issued a recommendation to U.S. citizens in the affected area to “make preparations immediately to protect life and property, [strongly encouraging] U.S. citizens to take shelter as advised by Mexican authorities at any time they feel in danger.”
Hurricane Patricia is currently being classified by the U.S. National Hurricane Center as the strongest hurricane ever in the Western Hemisphere (@NWSNHC), with sustained winds of as high as 200 mph. For purposes of comparison, Hurricane Katrina in 2005 registered sustained wind speeds at its most powerful of around 175 mph.
“I strongly encourage anyone in the path of the storm to evacuate or to take shelter,” Congressman Cuellar said. “The U.S. National Hurricane Center has identified this storm as the strongest ever recorded in the Western Hemisphere. My office will be monitoring the storm closely, and I will be having conversations with government officials in the U.S. and Mexico to ensure the best response possible.”
Even though it is not in the direct path of the storm, the 28th Congressional District and other parts of Texas will also feel the effects of the storm, with Central and South Texas expected to receive up to 20 inches of rain over the next 24 hours. Congressman Cuellar encourages residents of his district or anyone else who could feel the effects of the storm to turn to local authorities and the National Weather Service (www.weather.gov) for information. The National Weather Service may be followed on Twitter at @NWS.
The U.S. Consulate in Guadalajara, Mexico, is posting updates at http://guadalajara.usconsulate.gov/. The consulate's Twitter handle is @USCGGuadalajara.Congressman Cuellar's office will be posting updates on the storm and suggested response plans throughout the weekend. Follow Congressman Cuellar on Twitter @repcuellar. Alternatively, you can follow him on Facebook at Facebook.com/repcuellar.