Hurricane Willa makes landfall near Mazatlan, Mexico as powerful Category 3 storm

Mindy Sparks
October 24, 2018

As Willa closed in, the beach in Mazatlan nearly disappeared, with waves slamming against the coastal boulevard under looming black clouds.

Officials said they evacuated 4,250 people in coastal towns and set up about 60 shelters ahead of the storm, according to The Associated Press on October 23.

"On the forecast track, the center of Willa will approach the coast of west-central Mexico this afternoon, and make landfall within the hurricane warning area along the west-central coast of mainland Mexico early this evening", the NHC said.

Threatening a major tourist resort area, the storm made landfall near Isla del Bosque in Sinaloa with winds of 120 miles per hour, the National Hurricane Center (NHC) said during a special 7 p.m. It's heading to the north-northeast at 17kph (10 mph). They spread out blankets along the walls and waited for the storm.

Mexican emergency officials say they've evacuated more than 4,250 people in towns along the Pacific coast that are threatened by Hurricane Willa.

In Michoacan state, also on the Pacific coast, heavy rain caused a freight train to derail Monday in the town of La Goleta, injuring at least two workers for the Kansas City Southern rail line, authorities said.

Although Willa's intensity has been on a downward trend since it peaked as a Category five storm with 257km/h winds, it continues to be quite unsafe, packing sustained winds of 200km/h.

The eye of Willa is now passing near Las Islas Marias, in Mexico, according to the National Hurricane Center.

Schools were closed and the streets almost empty.

The federal government issued a decree of "extraordinary emergency" for 19 municipalities in Nayarit and Sinaloa states.

Hurricane warnings was in effect from San Blas to Mazatlan.

"Rapid weakening is expected after landfall and Willa is expected to dissipate over northern Mexico on Wednesday", officials said.

TRT World speaks with Paulina Gomez. He estimated 3,000 were affected, but he expected some would try to stay.

"The storm will encounter colder air, which will transform from a tropical area of low pressure to a more wintertime-like storm system, "CNN meteorologist Brandon Miller said". Mazatlan is a popular vacation spot and home to a large number of American and Canadian expatriates.

Forecasters said the hurricane could bring 6 to 12 inches of rain - with up to 18 inches in some places - to parts of Jalisco, Nayarit and Sinaloa states, with flash flooding and landslides possible in mountainous areas. Farther south, 12 people died due to heavy rains from Tropical Storm Vicente, which formed off the southern coast of Guatemala last weekend and continues to move northwest.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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