The National Hurricane Center (NHC) in Miami said Sunday that Hurricane Marie has grown in strength as it moves out into the Pacific, reaching Category 5 status and provoking dangerous waves along Mexico's western coast.
The agency also reported that Marie, which is the eighth hurricane of the eastern Pacific season, had sustained winds of 160 mph (260 kph) and was located 500 miles (805 kilometers) south-southwest of the southern tip of the Baja California Peninsula. The storm was moving to the west at 14 mph (22 kph).
The meteorological phenomena swept across the coastal state of Colima, Mexico, causing severe damage to restaurants, businesses and homes, according to local authorities.
A government spokesman in the township of El Paraiso, Victor Zermeño, said that the hurricane caused 16-feet waves that pounded the beach, destroying trees, flooding nearby streets and causing damages to businesses.
State officials said the hurricane caused damages in most of the beaches in the coastal area of Colima, but said a more precise estimate of damages would be carried out by the authorities.
Marie has strengthened quickly in a favorable environment and it is now a major hurricane. The NHC said the heavy swell provoked by the storm affected the southwestern coast of Mexico and the southern part of the Baja California Peninsula and could cause dangerous surf and worsen current conditions.
In Mexico, the national weather service said on Saturday heavy rains threatened the states of Michoacan, Colima, Guerrero, Oaxaca, Jalisco and Nayarit, warning they could trigger mudslides and cause rivers to overflow.
It urged the millions of people living in those states to exercise caution and to stay tuned for updates.
Marie has very likely topped out in strength, but remains in an environment that should maintain it as a major hurricane for the next 48 hours.