Patricia degraded from one of history most powerful hurricanes to an ordinary low-pressure system over northern Mexico, the U.S. National Hurricane Center said Saturday, leaving surprisingly little damage in its wake and posing little threat beyond continued heavy rain.
There were early reports of a few flooding and landslides, but no word of fatalities or major damage as the storm pushed across inland mountains and bypassing the metropolis of Guadalajara overnight.
Widespread tree damage and waves crashing into resort hotels were reported in Barra de Navidad, located just south of where Patricia came onshore.
Patricia flattened dozens of homes on Mexico's Pacific coast, but authorities have said the record-breaking hurricane largely spared the country and weakened into a remnant low as it moved north.
In the face of winds capable of lifting vehicles and sweeping structures from their bases, the popular holiday resort of Puerto Vallarta and the major port of Manzanillo on the Mexican South-West coast were braced for imminent devastation.
Transport Minister Gerardo Ruiz Esparza told a news conference in Jalisco on Saturday: "We were lucky that the impact was diverted" to a mountain region that slowed down Patricia's winds, he said.
Milenio Television carried footage of cars and buses being swept along by floodwaters in the state of Jalisco.
President Enrique Pena Nieto issued a taped address late October 23, noting that while initial reports indicate damage has been less than those expected, "We can not yet let our guard down".
By 11 a.m. EDT today, maximum sustained winds have decreased to near 35 miles per hour (55 kph) with higher gusts.
Early Saturday, its center was about 135 miles (215 kilometers) southwest of Zacatecas, Mexico.
"We have nothing. My property's gone", said Griselda Hernandez yesterday, looking at space, without walls or roof that used to be her home.
"The tourism authorities of Acapulco have been following protocol, staying in touch with hotels, tour operators, restaurants as a way to (keep) everybody informed", the statement read. The 40 families in that town took cover at a shelter. By that night, they were back where they began: at their hotel and no worse for wear.
"It was pretty stressful for a while", Sokol said.
While the storm lost power before coming ashore, its magnitude as a category 5 storm placed it in the strongest category on the Saffir-Simpson scale, a rare occurrence capable of causing massive destruction.
The maximum sustained winds of 200 miles per hour (160 knots) breaks the previous wind speed record of 185 miles per hour (160 knots) from Linda and Wilma for the strongest surface winds ever in the area of responsibility of the National Hurricane Center.