Earthquake Rattles Puerto Vallarta After Hurricane Lidia

Hurricane Lidia hit Puerto Vallarta, leaving two dead, while a massive rockslide blocks Federal Highway 200. The city's airport sees record growth, and it's named one of the world's best small cities. An earthquake rattles the city, and a Day of the Dead festival promises a vibrant October.

Earthquake Rattles Puerto Vallarta After Hurricane Lidia
One of the rocks fell on a vehicle, however, no persons were found inside. Credit: Violeta Meléndez

Hurricane Lidia may have unleashed her fury on the picturesque shores of Puerto Vallarta, but the spirit of this sun-soaked Mexican paradise remains unbroken. In a rollercoaster of weather events, here's the lowdown on the happenings in this vibrant coastal haven:

Lidia, the tempestuous tropical titan, didn't pull any punches as she crashed into the Mexican Pacific. With a Category 4 intensity, she left at least two souls in her wake. One brave soul lost his life attempting to traverse a raging stream in the municipality of Pihuamo, Jalisco. A second unfortunate soul met his end beneath a falling tree while navigating the deluge in Bahía de Banderas. Nature's fury knows no bounds.

Just when you thought the storm had made its point, Hurricane Lidia pulled off a parting trick. The early hours of the morning saw a monumental rockslide on Federal Highway 200, at kilometer 12, in Puerto Vallarta. As if inspired by an action movie, massive boulders tumbled onto the road, effectively isolating the southern reaches of the municipality. Tourists, you might want to adjust your travel plans – the route connecting Mismaloya with Boca de Tomatlan now stands as a no man's land.

We're not talking pebbles here; these boulders are the size of small houses. Even the Blue Horizon Hotel had to play a game of 'dodge the rock.' And one poor vehicle got squashed flatter than a tortilla. Kudos to the authorities from all levels of government who are on the scene, but don't hold your breath; clearing the rubble might take a while.

Massive boulders block Federal Highway 200 in Puerto Vallarta after Hurricane Lidia's fury.
Massive boulders block Federal Highway 200 in Puerto Vallarta after Hurricane Lidia's fury. Credit: MVS Noticias Jalisco

Earthquake Shakes Things Up

Amidst all this watery chaos, the ground beneath Puerto Vallarta decided to join the drama. A magnitude 4.3 earthquake struck, sending locals and tourists alike reaching for the nearest sturdy object. The epicenter? Just a casual 314 kilometers southwest of the city. Thanks, Mother Nature – you sure know how to keep things interesting.

The National Center for Disaster Prevention suggests we avoid falling into the rumor mill and stick to trusted sources for information. Furthermore, check your house for damage, use your phone sparingly, and hold off on lighting matches until you're sure the gas is behaving. And don't be surprised if the ground decides to shake again – aftershocks, anyone?

Puerto Vallarta Airport Expands

In the midst of all this tumult, there's a silver lining for Puerto Vallarta. The airport's passenger traffic has been skyrocketing, with a whopping 12% growth from January to September 2023. This gem of the Mexican coast welcomed four new connecting destinations, further solidifying its status as a tourist hotspot. In 2023 alone, routes to Guadalajara, Los Angeles, Mexicali, and Culiacán were added. Just remember, you might have to dodge a few fallen trees and a rockslide or two to get there!

Now, as if nature's tantrums weren't enough, Puerto Vallarta adds another jewel to its crown. The city has been named one of the “Best Small Cities in the World” by the Readers' Choice Awards 2023, courtesy of the prestigious Condé Nast editorial. The exquisite architecture, beautiful beaches, never-ending festivities, and timeless charm have earned this coastal paradise a spot on the world stage. Take a bow, Puerto Vallarta; you've earned it!

A Festive Farewell to October

For those looking for something other than natural disasters, the weekend promises a punch. The Arena Demonio Blanco in El Pitillal will host a thrilling boxing event, featuring fighters from various parts of the world. No titles will be up for grabs, but the punches and excitement certainly will be. Bring your boxing gloves and your cheering voice!

But it's not all about battling it out; Puerto Vallarta is gearing up for a festive farewell to October. The Mexican Day of the Dead Festival, the biggest and brightest of its kind, will take center stage from October 27th to November 5th. The city is preparing to showcase the world's largest Catrina, and the event promises a cultural extravaganza like no other. Dance, art, and much more will fill the city's streets, offering an unforgettable experience to all who partake.

In the end, Puerto Vallarta proves once again that it can weather any storm – both the meteorological kind and those of the metaphorical variety. Come for the beauty, the festivities, and the indomitable spirit of a city that refuses to be held down by even the fieriest of hurricanes.