Hurricane Patricia Could Devastate Mexico for Decades

Facts matter: Sign up for the free Mother Jones Daily newsletter. Support our nonprofit reporting. Subscribe to our print magazine.


I’m neither a weather blogger nor a natural disaster blogger, but holy cow: Hurricane Patricia is set to absolutely devastate Mexico in a few hours. Brad Plumer provides the basics:

The storm’s current size is shocking. Just 30 hours ago, Patricia was an ordinary hurricane with maximum winds of 60 miles per hour. Since then, Patricia has grown into a monster Category 5 hurricane, with maximum sustained winds nearing 200 miles per hour. The current storm appears to be unprecedented in the historical record.

Naturally, Drudge is going nuts, and with good reason. Plumer directs us to a study of long-term hurricane damage to a region’s economy, and Patricia could be unbelievably destructive:

According to the table on the left, a big hurricane can decrease income by 14.9 percent 20 years later. But there’s also this: “The largest event in our sample (78.3 m/s) is estimated to have reduced long-run GDP by 29.8%.” Patricia is currently running at about 90 meters per second. If it stays this powerful, the chart on the right suggests it could kill thousands and reduce the GDP of the Mexican coast west of Mexico City by 30-40 percent for decades.

WE'RE TAKING A SHORT BREAK…

from the big banner at the top of our pages asking for the donations that make Mother Jones' nonprofit journalism possible. But we still have upwards of $300,000 to raise by June 30, whether we get there is going to come down to the wire, and we can't afford to come up short.

If you value the reporting you get from Mother Jones and you can right now, please join your fellow readers who pitch in from time to time to keep our democracy-advancing, justice-seeking journalism charging hard (and to help us avoid a real budget crunch as June 30 approaches and our fiscal year ends).

payment methods

WE'RE TAKING A SHORT BREAK…

from the big banner at the top of our pages asking for the donations that make Mother Jones' nonprofit journalism possible. But we still have upwards of $300,000 to raise by June 30, whether we get there is going to come down to the wire, and we can't afford to come up short.

If you value the reporting you get from Mother Jones and you can right now, please join your fellow readers who pitch in from time to time to keep our democracy-advancing, justice-seeking journalism charging hard (and to help us avoid a real budget crunch as June 30 approaches and our fiscal year ends).

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate