MEXICO CITY – Hurricane Roslyn grew to Category 4 force on Saturday as it headed for a collision with Mexico’s Pacific coast, likely north of the resort of Puerto Vallarta.
The U.S. National Hurricane Center said Roslyn’s maximum sustained winds remained at 130 mph (215 kph) late Saturday.
The storm was centered about 65 miles (105 kilometers) west-southwest of Cabo Corrientes — the point of land jutting into the Pacific south of Puerto Vallarta — and moving north at 12 mph (19 kph).
The forecast put Roslyn on a path that could take it close to Cabo Corrientes and the Puerto Vallarta region djring the night before making landfall in Nayarit state on Sunday.
Hurricane Orlene made landfall Oct. 3 a little farther north in roughly the same region, about 45 miles (75 kilometers) southeast of the resort of Mazatlan.
Hurricane-force winds extended out 30 miles (45 kilometers) from Roslyn’s core, while tropical storm-force winds extended out to 80 miles (130 kilometers), the U.S. hurricane center said.
Mexico issued a hurricane warning covering a stretch of coast from Playa Perula south of Cabo Corrientes north to El Roblito and for the Islas Marias.
Seemingly oblivious to the danger just hours away, tourists ate at beachside eateries around Puerto Vallarta and smaller resorts farther north on the Nayarit coast, where Roslyn was expected to hit.
“We're fine. Everything is calm, it's all normal,” said Jaime Cantón, a receptionist at the Casa Maria hotel in Puerto Vallarta. He said that if winds picked up, the hotel would gather up outside furniture “so nothing will go flying.”
While skies began to cloud up, waves remained normal, and few people appeared to be rushing to take precautions; swimmers were still in the sea at Puerto Vallarta
“The place is full of tourists,” said Patricia Morales, a receptionist at the Punta Guayabitas hotel in the laid-back beach town of the same name, farther up the coast.
Asked what precautions were being taken, Morales said, “They (authorities) haven't told us anything.”
The Nayarit state government said the hurricane was expected to make landfall Sunday around the fishing village of San Blas, about 90 miles (150 kilometers) north of Puerto Vallarta.
The head of the state civil defense office, Pedro Núñez, said, “Right now we are carrying out patrols through the towns, to alert people so that they can keep their possession safe and keep themselves safe in safer areas.”
In the neighboring state of Jalisco, Gov. Enrique Alfaro wrote that 270 people had been evacuated in a town near the hurricane's expected path and that five emergency shelters had been set up in Puerto Vallarta.
Alfaro said on Twitter that any school activities in the region would be cancelled Saturday and he urged people to avoid touristic activities at beaches and in mountainous areas over the weekend.
The National Water Commission said rains from Roslyn could cause mudslides and flooding. and the U.S. hurricane center warned of dangerous storm surge along the coast, as well as 4 to 6 inches (10 to 15 centimeters) of rain.