Hurricane Patricia, a monster Category 5 storm with wind gusts up to 200 mph, is expected to make landfall along Mexico's Pacific coast between Manzanillo and Puerto Vallarta Friday afternoon, according to the National Hurricane Center (NHC).

Forecasters say that the storm is the strongest ever recorded in the Western Hemisphere.

Puerto Vallarta's airport is closing at noon and many tourists have already been evacuated by bus to Guadalajara. Resorts are moving guests into interior rooms, away from windows and glass.

Stores and restaurants have boarded up windows and are using sandbags to try and prevent rains from coming inside. Rainfalls of up to 12 inches are predicted in some areas, according the NHC.

Officials have declared a state of emergency in many municipalities in the states of Colima, Jalisco and Nayarit.

The storm is expected to cause massive coastal flooding, destructive waves and flash floods.
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