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Hurricane Patricia downgraded but may still be dangerous, Mexican officials say

The remnants of Hurricane Patricia dropped heavy rains over central and northern Mexico after the Category 5 storm faded into a tropical depression on Saturday, but officials warned residents and tourists that the threat of serious flooding and mudslides still remained.

“It is very important that the population stays in the shelters, the security forces will be patrolling to protect their homes,” Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto said. “I repeat, we still can’t let our guard down.”

Emergency response officials in Mexico tweeted that airports in Guadalajara and Puerto Vallarta had resumed operations Saturday.

Overnight, President Peña Nieto seemed optimistic after noting that “damages (had) been minor to those corresponding to a hurricane of this magnitude.”

The storm, which hit Mexico’s Pacific coast Friday, with winds of up to 200 miles per hour, has since slowed down to 35 miles per hour. The hurricane avoided direct hits on resort city Puerto Vallarta and major port city of Manzanillo.

A man gazes out to the bay just off the city's historic boardwalk in the Pacific beach resort of Puerto Vallarta, Mexico October 24, 2015. Photo by Henry Romero/Reuters.

A man gazes out to the bay just off the city’s historic boardwalk in the Pacific beach resort of Puerto Vallarta, Mexico October 24, 2015. Photo by Henry Romero/Reuters.

Red Cross volunteers load humanitarian aid boxes from a truck in the Pacific beach resort of Puerto Vallarta, Mexico October 24, 2015. Photo by Henry Romero/Reuters.

Red Cross volunteers load humanitarian aid boxes from a truck in the Pacific beach resort of Puerto Vallarta, Mexico October 24, 2015. Photo by Henry Romero/Reuters.

Electricity poles impacted by wind after the passing of Hurricane Patricia are seen in La Union de Tula, Mexico October 24, 2015. Photo by Edgard Garrido/Reuters.

Electricity poles impacted by wind after the passing of Hurricane Patricia are seen in La Union de Tula, Mexico October 24, 2015. Photo by Edgard Garrido/Reuters.

TECOMAN MX - OCTOBER 24: A truck drives through a flooded out turn off at the entrance to the city after heavy flooding from Hurriane Patricia October 24, 2015 in Tecoman, Colima, Mexico. Hurricane Patricia struck Mexico's West coast as the most powerful storm ever recorded in the Western Hemisphere but rapidly lost energy as it moved inland.  (Photo by Brett Gundlock/Getty Images)

A man drives through a flooded area Oct. 24 in Tecomán, Mexico. Photo by Brett Gundlock/Getty Images.

IN SPACE - In this handout photo provided by NASA, Hurricane Patricia is seen from the International Space Station. The hurricane made landfall on the Pacfic coast of Mexico on October 23. (Photo by Scott Kelly/NASA via Getty Images)

In an image provided by NASA, Hurricane Patricia is shown from the International Space Station. Photo by Scott Kelly/NASA via Getty Images.

Children, who were evacuated from their homes, are pictured at the University of Puerto Vallarta, which is being used as a shelter, in the Pacific beach resort city of Puerto Vallarta, Mexico October 23. 2015. Hurricane Patricia struck Mexico's Pacific coast as a potentially catastrophic Category 5 storm on Friday, as one of the most powerful hurricanes in history threatened to wreak widespread damage and prompted mass evacuations.Patricia made landfall at Playa Perula in the state of Jalisco, Mexico's meteorological service said. The U.S. National Hurricane Center said Patricia was the strongest storm ever recorded in the Western Hemisphere REUTERS/Henry Romero - RTX1SYZO

Children are shown Oct. 23 at the University of Puerto Vallarta, in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. The school was used as a shelter after Hurricane Patricia struck in the area. Photo by Henry Romero/Reuters.

Municipal workers collect branches from a flooded street in Manzanillo, Colima state, Mexico on October 23, 2015, during hurricane Patricia. The strongest hurricane ever recorded crashed into Mexico's Pacific coast on Friday, ratcheting up fears that super-storm Patricia will unleash death and destruction with its powerful winds and driving rain. AFP PHOTO / Jonathan Levinson        (Photo credit should read Jonathan Levinson/AFP/Getty Images)

Municipal workers collect branches from a flooded street Oct. 23 in Manzanillo, Mexico. Photo by Jonathan Levinson/AFP/Getty Images.

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