Hurricane Patricia struck Mexico's Pacific coast

The US National Hurricane Center said the hurricane hit as a Category Five storm - the highest classification.

Oct 24, 2015 14:14 IST
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Hurricane Patricia, one of the most powerful storms on record, struck Mexico's Pacific coast on 23 October 2015. The hurricane carrying destructive winds with a speed of 165mph forced thousands to flee homes and beach front resorts.

Patricia landed about 55 miles west-northwest of Manzanillo, home to the largest container port on Mexico's Pacific seaboard.

There were no reported casualties and officials said the damage might not be as catastrophic as feared.

The US National Hurricane Center said the hurricane hit as a Category Five storm - the highest classification. But it has since weakened to a Category Four, and will be downgraded to a tropical storm in the coming hours. It also said that it would lead to life-threatening flash floods and mudslides in rural areas.

Some of the most powerful storms in recent years

Typhoon Tip: It was the largest and most intense cyclone ever recorded with wind speeds of 190mph. It struck Japan in October 1979 and killed around 100 people.
Hurricane Allen: It was strongest Atlantic hurricane with winds speeds of 190mph. It struck Haiti and US state of Texas in August 1980 and led to death of around 300 people.
Bangladesh cyclone: Also known as 02B, the cyclone struck the Chittagong district of southeastern Bangladesh with winds of around 155 mph on 29 April 1991 and resulted into death of at least 138000 people.
Odisha Cyclone: Also known as Cyclone 05B, and Paradip cyclone was the strongest tropical cyclone ever recorded in the North Indian Ocean. It was the deadliest Indian storm since 1971.
It killed at least 10000 people, mostly in India.
Hurricane Katrina: It struck the US states of Louisiana and Mississippi in August 2005 and killed at least 1836 people. It carried wind at a speed of 175mph.
Hurricane Wilma: It was the most intense tropical cyclone in the Atlantic basin with wind speed of around 184mph. It struck the Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico in October 2005 and killed arund 87 people.
Typhoon Haiyan: It struck Philippines in November 2013 with the speed of around 196mph and killed at least 6300 people.

Categorisation of Storms
The Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale categorizes storms based on their sustained wind speed and estimates property damage.
Category 1: 74 to 95 mph, they can lead to some damage
Category 2: 96 to 110 mph, they can cause extensive damage.
Category 3: 111 to 129 mph, they can lead huge damage
Category 4: 130 to 156 mph, they can cause catastrophic damage
Category 5: 157 mph and higher, they can cause catastrophic damage

Pattern of naming storms that can graduate to hurricanes
The process of naming storms started in 1953 and since then it has continued. Name of storms are kept in alphabetical order in which letters Q, U, X, Y and Z has been omitted. The international committee of World Meteorological Organization (WMO), an agency of the United Nations, is the in-charge that names the Atlantic tropical storms that sometimes become hurricanes. Whereas, the lists originated by the National Hurricane Center.

The process of naming the storms consider six years of lists and the list is reused every six years (2008 list is being used in 2014). Earlier, the name list featured only women’s names but in 1979 the list was updated and saw men’s names also. These names are alternate with the women’s names.

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