Businesses, schools airports and ports were closed. The US government has urged its citizens to stay away from beaches. Thousands are fleeing Mexico. “Patricia is one of the strongest tropical cyclones globally ever observed,” said WeatherBell meteorologist Ryan Maue. Roberto Ramirez, director of Mexico’s National Water Commission, said Hurricane Patricia is powerful enough to lift up automobiles and destroy homes not sturdily built with cement and steel. A high percentage of framed homes will be destroyed, with total roof failure and wall collapse, according to the hurricane center. A total of 50,000 people were expected to be evacuated ahead of the storm, according to civil protection agencies in the three Mexican states of Colima, Jalisco, and Nayarit. Mexican officials declared a state of emergency in dozens of coastal towns.