MIAMI - Hurricane Patricia, a Category 5 storm, is expected to make landfall in southwestern Mexico Friday.
The National Hurricane Center in Miami says that Patricia continues to be the strongest eastern north Pacific hurricane on record and is heading toward a "potentially catastrophic landfall" in southwestern Mexico later Friday.
The U.N.'s World Meteorological Organization says Hurricane Patricia is packing comparable force to that of Typhoon Haiyan, which left more than 7,300 dead or missing in the Philippines two years ago.
WMO spokeswoman Claire Nullis says Patricia says the hurricane is currently south-southwest of Manzanillo, Mexico, and on track to make landfall as a Category 5 hurricane later in the day.
Nullis says Patricia's winds -- which are around 200 mph (325 kph) -- are strong enough "to get a plane in the air and keep it flying."
WMO says Patricia's minimum central pressure is comparable to that of Haiyan, which leveled entire towns in the central Philippines in 2013.