Hurricane Patricia became the strongest storm ever measured on the planet early Friday, with experts warning it could trigger 40-foot waves along southwestern Mexico and "life-threatening" flash flooding.
On social media, the country's president and civil service agencies made urgent pleas to families to take the hurricane seriously and make necessary arrangements for their safety.
Roberto Ramirez de la Parra, the Director of CONAGUA, Mexico’s National Meteorological Service, made an update on Hurricane Patricia available via Youtube.
“Even some international experts are considering this hurricane the most powerful hurricane that has ever existed in the planet in all history. That allows us to determine that we have to place special emphasis in notices of civil protection and the protection of life and integrity of persons,” he said, “At this time, the highest priority of the government of the republic and the instruction given by the president of the republic is to alert the population to listen to the warnings of civil protection and to move away from the high-risk areas”.
CONAGUA tweeted: “Mexico had never before experienced the impact of a hurricane so intense.”
They later added: “The population should meet the recommendations issued by the National Civil Protection System.”
More than 7 million residents — and an estimated tens of thousands of U.S. citizens visiting or living there — were told to prepare for the "worst-case scenario" as the ferocious storm was expected to race ashore on Mexico's Pacific coast between 6 p.m. and 10 p.m. ET Friday.
The Managing Director of the Federal Electricity Commission (CFE) in Mexico, Enrique Ochoa Reza, announced on Twitter that the CFE dispatched 3,700 workers, 880 vehicles, and 219 emergency power plants to deal with the possible effects of Hurricane Patricia.
The office of the President tweeted a link to “locate shelters for Hurricane Patricia.” The President himself also added “I call on families to exercise caution. The most important thing is to be in a safe place.”
NBC News contributed to this report.