Thousands evacuate as ‘extremely dangerous’ Hurricane Willa descends on Mexico’s Pacific coast with 130mph winds and threatens to batter tourist resorts and fishing villages

Tuesday, October 23, 2018
By Paul Martin

Hurricane Willa is expected to strike with 130 mph winds on Tuesday afternoon
Willa briefly reached Category 5 strength before weakening a bit to Category 4
Officials warn it still was likely to bring ‘life-threatening storm surge, wind and rainfall’ to parts of west-central and southwestern Mexico
Hurricane is expected to strike a few miles south of Mazatlan – a stretch of coast dotted with high-rise resorts, surfing beaches and fishing villages

By EMILY CRANE
DAILYMAIL.COM
23 October 2018

Thousands of people have been evacuated and buildings boarded up along Mexico’s Pacific coast as ‘extremely dangerous’ Hurricane Willa started tearing in with high winds and heavy rains.

Forecast to be one of the most powerful hurricanes to enter Mexico from the Pacific in recent years, Willa is expected to strike with 130 mph winds just a few miles south of Mazatlan as soon as Tuesday afternoon.

The stretch of coast in the hurricane’s path is dotted with high-rise resorts, surfing beaches and fishing villages.

Willa briefly reached Category 5 strength before weakening a bit to Category 4.

The U.S. National Hurricane Center warned that it still was likely to bring ‘life-threatening storm surge, wind and rainfall’ to parts of west-central and southwestern Mexico.

Workers taped up windows in hotels on Monday night and officials ordered schools closed in a low-lying region where towns sit amid farmland tucked between the sea and lagoons.

A decree of ‘extraordinary emergency’ was issued for 19 municipalities in Nayarit and Sinaloa states, the federal Interior Department announced.

Officials said 7,000 to 8,000 people were being evacuated from low-lying areas, mostly in Sinaloa state.

The hurricane was nearing the Islas Marias, a group of islands about 60 miles offshore that include a nature preserve and a federal prison.

Forecasters said Willa would then blow ashore in late afternoon somewhere along a 140-mile stretch from the resort city of Mazatlan to San Blas.

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