Harriet Jones / WNPR

A team from Connecticut-based non-profit AmeriCares is on the ground in Mexico assessing the need for disaster relief in the wake of Hurricane Patricia. Patricia made landfall late Friday as a Category 5 hurricane, but weakened rapidly to a tropical storm.

Updated at 8:05 p.m. ET

The National Hurricane Center says the eye of Hurricane Patricia has made landfall near Cuixmala on Mexico's southwestern Pacific coast. Its winds were measured at 165 mph, somewhat weakened but still a Category 5 storm capable of catastrophic damage.

Our original post continues:

The most powerful hurricane ever recorded in the eastern Pacific will make a "potentially catastrophic landfall" in southwestern Mexico Friday, the National Weather Service says. Hurricane Patricia is bringing winds that now top 200 mph; it's expected to strike Friday afternoon or evening.

Update, 12:27 a.m.

The death toll is now at 3 with the death of a second infant in the hours following the blast, according to The Associated Press, and eight children and seven adults remain in critical condition.

"The blast occurred at 7:05 a.m. when the truck was making a routine delivery of gas to the hospital kitchen and gas started to leak. Witnesses said the tanker workers struggled for 15 or 20 minutes to repair the leak while a large cloud of gas formed.

Mexico's attorney general made it official last night: The 43 college students who went missing last fall are dead.

That's the conclusion they've reached based on confessions of the alleged perpetrators and forensic evidence.

The State Department launched a program this month that creates a safe passage to the United States from Central America. It would give some U.S.-based Latino parents the chance to bring over children they left in their home countries.

More than 57,000 child migrants made the trip across the U.S.-Mexican border this year. Many report being physically and sexually abused along the harrowing journey.

Mexican Federal Police captured the former mayor of Iguala, José Luis Abarca, and his wife, María de los Ángeles Pineda, near Mexico City this morning, the spokesman for the Federal Police said in a tweet.

The number of people who have died crossing the US-Mexico border has hit a 15-year low. The Associated Press reports:

"...more immigrants turned themselves in to authorities in Texas and fewer took their chances with the dangerous trek across the Arizona desert.

The U.S. government recorded 307 deaths in the 2014 fiscal year that ended in September - the lowest number since 1999. In 2013, the number of deaths was 445."

Mexico's top prosecutor says a mayor and his wife ordered the attack on 43 students who have been missing for nearly a month. The couple — of the town of Iguala in the southern state of Guerrero — are now fugitives.

Thousands of protesters marched down Mexico City's grand Reforma Boulevard on Wednesday night, banging drums, carrying pictures of the 43 students who went missing on Sept. 26, and demanding the resignation of the governor of the state of Guerrero and even of President Enrique Pena Nieto.

The number of Central American children and families being apprehended at the U.S.-Mexican border has dropped dramatically in recent months, according to the U.S. Border Patrol. There has been a 60 percent decline in apprehensions of minors since the record numbers making the illegal trek earlier this summer.

A lot of factors may be contributing to the dramatic drop, including heavy rains along the migrant route and media campaigns in home countries dispelling rumors that kids can stay in the U.S.

Migrant Children May Be Sheltered in Massachusetts

Jul 21, 2014
M. Hoffmann/UNHCR / The Migration Policy Institute

According to the independent think tank The Migration Policy Institute, 85 percent of the Central American migrant children who have arrived in the U.S. over the past few months are reunited with relatives here. Most go to places with established communities of Central American families, including cities in Connecticut like New Haven and Hartford. Others go to Massachusetts.

Texas Gov. Rick Perry is expected to announce on Monday that he is ordering 1,000 National Guard troops to the U.S. border with Mexico, according to reports from The Monitor and The Houston Chronicle.

L.Bö / Flickr Creative Commons

It's not something you'd immediately associate with staying healthy: video games. A professor at Quinnipiac University is exploring whether or not digital avatars can encourage gay men in Mexico City to get tested regularly for HIV. 

Mud slides, flash floods and rising waters are proving to be a deadly combination in the mountains near Acapulco, Mexico, where dozens of people have died in recent days as a tropical storm-turned hurricane pummels the area.