The strongest hurricane ever recorded in the Americas is bearing down on Mexico's Pacific coast, threatening a "potentially catastrophic" landfall. Mexican authorities have begun evacuating residents ahead of the arrival of Hurricane Patricia.
The storm is comparable to Typhoon Haiyan, which killed 6,300 people in the Philippines in 2013, the World Meteorological Organization says.
Hurricane Patricia is bearing down on Mexico's Pacific coast Friday. Forecasters say this could be potentially catastrophic. It's a monster storm with sustained winds of 200 mph. That's the most powerful ever recorded by the National Hurricane Center in either the eastern Pacific or Atlantic basin.
Thursday Patricia went from a weak tropical storm to a top-of-the-scale Category 5 hurricane in just 25 hours. It's believed to be the fastest strengthening ever observed. And it's likely to get stronger. Some models show the storm could reach sustained winds of 220 mph. That's unheard of.