Mexico’s west coast is braced to be hit by a “potentially catastrophic hurricane” on Friday.

Forecasters warned that Hurricane Patricia had increased in strength to Category 5 – the strongest hurricane ever recorded in the Pacific.

“Satellite images indicate that maximum sustained winds have increased to near 160 mph with higher gusts,” the US National Hurricane Centre warned.

Although it is expected to weaken today local time, the hurricane should make landfall on the Pacific coast near Punta San Telmo late in the day as an “extremely dangerous” storm.

Torrential rain of up to 600mm is expected to bring flash floods and landslides to the west coast of Mexico.

The Foreign and Commonwealth office said: “Hurricane Patricia is forecast to bring hazardous sea and weather conditions to parts of the west coast from around October 23.”