Oct 142011

The twin coastal towns of Melaque and Barra de Navidad in the state of Jalisco felt the full force of Hurricane Jova earlier this week. Barra de Navidad has great historical importance as one of the shipbuilding ports where the Spanish built the ships which traversed the Pacific Ocean to the islands of the Philippines.

Full details are only beginning to emerge of the damage done, but the following links show the storm’s path, and some of its immediate impacts:

Fortunately, Hurricane Jova had lost some of its strength by the time it slammed into the coast as a Category 2 hurricane on 12 October. It had previously packed winds of up to 160 km/hr. Even so, it brought torrential rain to coastal areas between the major resorts of Puerto Vallarta and Manzanillo, and heavy rain inland as far as Guadalajara (about 400 km from the coast). In Guadalajara, the flag-raising ceremony to mark the start of the 2011 Pan-American Games was postponed by a day because of continuous rainfall.

In Puerto Vallarta, where several Pan-American Games events are scheduled to be held, including sailing, triathlon, beach volleyball, and open water swimming, authorities secured boats and reinforced the beach volleyball courts with sandbags.

The catastrophe-modelling firm AIR Worldwide says Hurricane Jova will have caused less than $52m of damage as it hit a sparsely populated stretch of Mexico’s Pacific coast downgraded as a Category 2 hurricane.

Many smaller settlements, including Cihuatlán, La Huerta, Villa Purificacion, and Cuautitlán de García Barragán were temporarily cut off as floodwaters made the main coastal highway impassible. Streets in many towns were inundated.

Details of the storm’s track and intensity will (in due course) be available at the National Hurricane Center’s archive for 2011 Eastern Pacific Hurricanes.

Previous hurricane-related posts include:

Hurricanes and other climatological phenomena are analyzed in chapters 4 and 7 of Geo-Mexico: the geography and dynamics of modern Mexico. Buy your copy today, so you have a handy reference guide available whenever you need it.


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