On Thursday morning, I was excited about the chance to take a weekend trip to Mazamitla, Jalisco to enjoy the mountains and annual flower festival. Thursday night, I sadly decided that I would skip the trip due to a lot of rain and some thunderstorms forecasted during the weekend because of a hurricane coming up the coast. Hopefully, I will be able to take that trip later this year.
I had no idea just how big the hurricane would be. Friday felt like the closest thing to a snow day possible in Guadalajara. Several students were absent, and several more were picked up early throughout the day, parents wanting to get home and out of traffic before the storm hit and the flooding began. I heard that Puerto Vallarta and some of the other coastal cities were being evacuated. It rained pretty much the whole day, which is not very fun when your school is structured so that stepping into the hallway between classes is also stepping out into the open air. I walked home fairly unworried, knowing Guadalajara is about 3 hours away from the coast, a little south of the projected path of the hurricane, and is surrounded by mountains which would break up the winds. Friday night, I was encouraged as I watched my newsfeed fill up with the prayers and warnings from friends in the States as well as locals.
The rain stopped sometime during Friday night and when I got up Saturday morning I was awed to see the news on the weather channel. Hurricane Patricia was the strongest Pacific hurricane ever recorded. It was a category 5, though I saw some articles that suggested it would have classified higher if the scale had gone past 5. The last category 5 hurricane to hit the pacific coast of Mexico killed 1,800 people in 1959. However, by Saturday morning, the weather reporters seemed shocked that even though Patricia was the most rapidly intensifying hurricane ever recorded, it weakened even faster. The death toll, as far as I have heard, is 0. If you are curious, here is the weather report. http://www.weather.com/storms/hurricane/news/hurricane-patricia-mexico-coast
Though this event was historic, I doubt it will be remembered long because in the end the damage was so slight compared to what it could have been. However, it should be remembered. It should be remembered as a testament to the power of prayer and to God’s control over nature. I am so thankful for the faithful prayers of believers, whether they knew people in Mexico or not, who prayed when they saw a need. I am also thankful to God for listening to our prayers and protecting lives. Please continue praying as there is still damage along the coast, and especially for the low income, many of whom lost the little they had.