Hurricane Patricia caused less damage than feared so far after making landfall on Mexico's Pacific coast, President Enrique Pena Nieto said Friday, warning that the storm still posed a threat.
In a televised message to the nation almost five hours after Patricia crashed ashore in western Jalisco state, Pena Nieto urged Mexicans to remain on alert.
"With the information available up to now and taking into account that the (weather) phenomenon is ongoing, the first reports confirm that the damages have been smaller than those corresponding to a hurricane of this magnitude," he said.
"However, it's important for the population to remain in shelters," Pena Nieto added. "We can't let our guard down yet. I insist, the most dangerous part of the hurricane has yet to enter the national territory."
The president warned that Patricia will dump heavy rain on the Pacific coast as well as central and northeastern states.
The storm had grown into the strongest hurricane ever on record hours before making landfall, with its winds peaking at 325 kilometers (200 miles) per hour, raising fears of a deadly catastrophe.
It was more powerful than the 315 kph winds of Super Typhoon Haiyan, which left more than 7,350 dead or missing when it struck the Philippines in November 2013.
While Patricia was still a category five hurricane when it made landfall, its winds had weakened slightly to 270 kph and lost more steam as it moved further inland late Friday.