Hurricane Willa has grown on its way to the Mexican west coast after predicting a Category 4 storm in the eastern Pacific. Tourists have left Mexico's Mazatlan beach as a result.

Hurricane Willa has grown into a category 4 "extremely dangerous" storm in the Eastern Pacific on its way to Mexico's west coast, meteorologists say.

Earlier on Monday Willa had achieved the status of category 5 with 160 mph winds.

Landfall is predicted for late Tuesday or early Wednesday, likely as a major hurricane (category 3 or higher), said the National Hurricane Center.

The Center Willa said, "It is expected to trigger life-threatening storm surges, wind and rainfall in parts of southwestern and western central Mexico starting on Tuesday."

"Willa is expected to be lethal landing about 40-60 miles south of Mazatlan, Me Jacco, "said AccuWeather hurricane expert Dan Kottlowski.

The vulnerable area includes a section of high-rise resort hotels, surfing beaches and fishing villages. [1 9659008] Hotels began to glue their windows on and officials began to evacuate thousands of people from closed schools in a low-lying landscape, where cities lie amidst farmland between sea and lagoons.

"People do not want to evacuate, but it's their safety," said Enrique Moreno, mayor of Escuinapa, a town of about 60,000 in Willa's forecast path.


View Thumbnails

Show Captions