Thursday, 15 November, 2018

Hurricane Willa Intensifies as it Barrels Towards Mexico's Western Coast

Hurricane Willa Grows Rapidly off Mexico's Pacific Coast Hurricane Willa: Storm to smash into Mexico tourist hotspots as it strengthens | Daily Star
Guillermo Lane | 25 October, 2018, 03:52

"Extremely unsafe. Hurricane Willa continues to rapidly strengthen (and is) forecast to produce life-threatening storm surge, wind and rainfall over portions of southwestern and west-central Mexico beginning on Tuesday", the Miami-based National Hurricane Center warned.

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

"Extremely dangerous" Hurricane Willa's eye is continuing to move northward and is about 110 miles off the southwestern coast of Mexico, said the U.S.

In its latest advisory, issued at 3 p.m. (2000 GMT), the US -based National Hurricane Center said Willa was "expected to produce life-threatening storm surge, wind and rainfall over portions of west-central and southwestern Mexico".

The hurricane is moving north at 9mph and is forecast to move "over or very near" Islas Marias early Tuesday, according to the NHC.

Complete power outages, damage to roofs and even the foundations of buildings that are up to 500 meters (1,640 feet) from the coastline were possible, Mexico's National Meteorological Service (SMN) said.

A Category 5 storm - the top level of the Saffir-Simpson hurricane and wind scale - Willa could strengthen throughout this evening.

"On the forecast track, the center of Vicente is expected to be near the southwestern coast of Mexico on Tuesday", said the NHC.

People being evacuated in Teacapan, Sinaloa state, Mexico, on Monday. It was moving to the north-northwest at 7 miles per hour (11 kph), but a turn toward the north was likely during the night or Monday.

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The hurricane center said Willa was expected to strike near Mazatlan, a popular beach resort, and several other local tourist destinations also are in the storm's path. There could be life-threatening flash floods and mudslides.

Hotels started taping up their windows, and officials began evacuating thousands of people and shuttered schools in a low-lying landscape where towns sit amid farmland tucked between the sea and lagoons.

Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 30 miles from the center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 105 miles.

"Willa is expected to make landfall about 40-60 miles south of Mazatlan, Mexico", AccuWeather hurricane expert Dan Kottlowski said.

Residents buy drinking water ahead of the arrival of Hurricane Willa in Mazatlan, Mexico, Monday, Oct. 22, 2018.

"Wind shear will weaken the storm slightly before landfall Tuesday, but will bring life-threatening storm surge and winds to the Mexico coast".

Landfall is predicted for late Tuesday or early Wednesday, likely as a powerful Category 4 hurricane, the National Hurricane Center said.

Willa comes weeks after Hurricane Michael killed more than a dozen when it slammed into the US.

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