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Science & Environment

Beachside Resort In Sayulita, Mexico, Prepares For Hurricane Patricia

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Hurricane Patricia has made landfall. When it reached the Mexican coast, winds were recorded at 165 miles per hour. The Category 5 storm had been the strongest ever recorded in this hemisphere at 220 miles per hour. Sayulita is a resort town on Mexico's West Coast, and that's where Norma Adams manages a waterfront hotel called Villa Amor. We reached her earlier today.

NORMA ADAMS: I am sitting here at the front desk, and I see nobody on the beach. All our fishermen have brought their boats up all the way to the top of the sandy area. They also said no, it's not going to hit. But seeing them pull the boats up, you know something's coming.

CORNISH: I know that there are evacuation orders for the Puerto Vallarta area. What is your plan? Are you following those orders?

ADAMS: The authorities recommended we, first of all, evacuate the first level. That was around 1 a.m., which we did. And we ended up coming, all of us, to the hotel to start evacuating in big buses. It took us about 45 minutes to evacuate everything.

CORNISH: When did you realize that this was truly serious? I know there's been warnings about this hurricane for a couple days.

ADAMS: Yes. There's been warnings throughout Oaxaca. We thought, you know, it's not going to hit; nothing's going to happen. It missed Oaxaca, so we were all relaxed. We had a wedding today scheduled, and we ended up having to make the decision around 3 a.m., where we decided, you know, it's time. We should head to the hotel. We should start putting tape on windows, bring all the computers into our cars, start parking cars somewhere else and evacuate right away. We alarmed all of the guests, and right now we have not one guest in the hotel.

CORNISH: I don't know how long you've lived and worked in the area. Have you ever seen anything like this?

ADAMS: I was born here five minutes from Sayulita, north San Pancho, Nayarit - San Franciso Nayarit. And I was practically raised here in Sayulita. I witnessed the Kenna hurricane a few years back, but it's probably bigger than Kenna. We're just waiting for it.

CORNISH: Norma, thanks so much. Stay safe.

ADAMS: (Speaking Spanish).

CORNISH: Norma Adams in Sayulita, Mexico - she spoke to us just before she left for shelter ahead of Hurricane Patricia. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.