Hurricane Jova is headed straight for Mexico's pacific coast and could heavily damage key cargo ports and tourist resorts in the country, Reuters reports.
The major hurricane reached winds of up to 115 miles per hour Tuesday and was only 120 miles south of the port city Manzanillo at 11 a.m. EDT, according to Reuters. The U.S. National Hurricane Center in Miami said wind speeds could reach higher speeds by the end of the day.
Mexico has been preparing for Hurricane Jova since it strengthened to a Category 3 hurricane on Monday and headed for Mexico’s coastline, the Associated Press reports.
The hurricane center said on Monday that Jova could reach Category 4 strength after its winds picked up to 125 mph that morning, the AP reports.
Read more at GlobalPost: Hurricane Jova strengthening in eastern Pacific, forecasters say
Taking precaution, Mexican emergency officials have already started opening shelters and coordinating with local governments before Jova hits, CNN reports. On Sunday about 100 shelters were opened for people who could be affected by the hurricane.
“Our main concern is the welfare of the population,” said Trinidad Lopez, civil protection director of Jalisco, to CNN. “We’re doing everything in our power to protect the people.”
According to Reuters, the hurricane center also predicts destructive waves on the coast and heavy flooding in areas where Jova hits lands.
More than 300 soldiers have been deployed and the Marines in Puerto Vallarta are on alert, CNN reports.
The forecast track would carry its center near Barra de Navidad, south of the resort Puerto Vallarta, by late Tuesday, the AP reports.
Aside from the local government taking precautions for citizens, hotels in the hurricanes path are preparing too, AP reports. Guests are scheduled to check out of resorts such as the Grand Bay Hotel on Isla Navidad today.