DFAT Helping Aussies Caught Up In Mexico Mega-Storm

25/10/2015 2:41 PM AEDT | Updated 15/07/2016 12:50 PM AEST
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Hurricane Elena in the Gulf of Mexico

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade says it has helped a number of Australians impacted by Hurricane Patricia in Mexico as the country mops up following the mega-storm.

Patricia, one of the strongest hurricanes ever recorded, smashed into Mexico's south west coast on Saturday recording wind gusts of up to 378km/h and sending residents and tourists scrambling to find shelter.

Damage from the Category 5 storm, which has since weakened significantly, was not as severe as was initially predicted and no fatalities have so far been reported.

Most of the damage has been limited to fallen trees and flooded homes after around 15,000 tourists were evacuated prior to the mega-storm making landfall.

DFAT had been concerned about a number of Australians believed to be in the affected area, which includes popular tourist spots like the resort towns of Puerto Vallarta and Manzanillo.

The government agency said on Sunday that it has provided help to Australians caught up in the storm.

"DFAT has provided assistance to a small number of Australians in the affected region," a DFAT spokeswoman told The Huffington Post Australia.

The spokeswoman said DFAT was "not aware of any Australians requiring further consular assistance as a result of Hurricane Patricia”.

Despite the weakening storm system, DFAT urged Australians to keep clear of areas hit by Patricia.

"We recommend you delay your travel until local authorities confirm it is safe. We continue to advise Australians to exercise a high degree of caution in Mexico," its smartraveller website said.

OxFam's chief executive Helen Szoke said there were still big risks in the storm's aftermath.

"The Mexican Government and authorities have urged people not to be complacent," she said.

"We have already seen reports of flooding and there is a high risk of further flooding, and landslides. Ash from the Colima volcano, combined with heavy rain, could also trigger huge mudflows."

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