Patricia, one of the most powerful hurricanes in history, has slammed into Mexico’s Pacific coast.
But as efforts continued to evacuate thousands more people from homes and popular beach resorts, fears of catastrophic damage by the Category 5 storm were eased as it weakened to a Category 4.
Blowing winds of more than 260 kilometres per hour as it made landfall, Patricia is expected to be further downgraded to a tropical storm in the hours ahead. Yet experts have warned that it remains dangerous.
Visible from space, it was described as the strongest storm yet registered in the Western Hemisphere and likened to Typhoon Haiyan which killed thousands in the Philippines in 2013.
Writing from 401 km above Earth on the International Space Station, US astronaut Scott Kelly tweeted images of the giant storm along with messages of support for those on the receiving end of Patricia.
Woke up in the night #Patricia update w latest view from
space_station</a> Thoughts continue for all below <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/YearInSpace?src=hash">#YearInSpace</a> <a href="https://t.co/MYmYLA3uPw">pic.twitter.com/MYmYLA3uPw</a></p>— Scott Kelly (StationCDRKelly) 24 Octobre 2015
#Patricia's force isn't lost on me. Thoughts w friends & all in #Mexico#GoodNight from
space_station</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/YearInSpace?src=hash">#YearInSpace</a> <a href="https://t.co/FpulnNQleR">pic.twitter.com/FpulnNQleR</a></p>— Scott Kelly (StationCDRKelly) 23 Octobre 2015
Despite losing steam, Patricia is said to have sparked flooding and landslides in Mexico, although no serious damage or fatalities have, as yet, been reported.