Hurricane Carlotta on Friday afternoon was upgraded to a Category 2 storm and was still intensifying, with a hurricane warning in effect from Salina Cruz north to Acapulco.
This stretch of coastline is dotted with small villages, including Puerto Escondido, a popular surfing destination. The storm's center is expected to move over or near land between Puerto Angel and Acapulco on Friday night or Saturday.
A hurricane warning is a call for citizens and tourists to take steps toward protecting their lives, property and pets. "Preparations to protect life and property should be rushed to completion," stated the National Hurricane Center in a 2 p.m. public advisory. The storm boasted maximum sustained winds of 105 mph.
A hurricane watch is in effect to the south of Salina Cruz and north of Acapulco, to Tecpan de Galeana. But people as far north as Puerto Vallarta ought to be prepared for strong winds and heavy rainfall at some point over the next several days.
The states of Chiapas, Guerrero and northern Oaxaca can expect an estimated 3-5 inches of rainfall through Sunday.
Carlotta's proximity to the coastline has many people worried. The storm is predicted to weaken somewhat before re-intensifying, before ultimately weakening as it tracks to the northwest along the coast through the middle of next week.
Ed Kunze, a longtime resident of Zihuatanejo (north of Acapulco in the state of Guerrero), stated via email:
"I am a bit nervous about Carlotta. I bought another five-gallon jug of drinking water, for a total of 15 gallons. Tomorrow I will fill the truck up with gas, as well as get an extra 15 gallons for my small generator. If the electricity goes down, then the pumps at the gas station and drinking water place won't work.
"Today I got cash out from the bank. Banks can't disperse cash without electricity either. Also, tomorrow I am buying extra toilet paper, and a few more dry foods.
"I am probably better off than 99% of the people, but it could be bad. I am following the reports and updates regularly. Of course, all my friends say it will blow past and out at sea, as they always do, but I am an engineer and feel we are due. Plus, I have seen zero places in town preparing or even thinking about it."
Hopefully, those within the warning and watch areas are, in fact, doing what they can to minimize the storm's impact.
-- Image showing Hurricane Carlotta on Friday is courtesy of NOAA