MAZATLAN, Mexico –
Hurricane Willa roared into a group of Mexican islands that held a prison colony, and collided on Tuesday with a section of the country's Pacific coast that was 195 km / h fast, skyscrapers, surfing beaches and fishing villages threaten.
Willa briefly reached Category 5 on Monday, then weakened to Category 3. However, the US Hurricane Center warned that it could still lead to life-threatening storms, wind and rain in parts of western Mexico
On Tuesday morning, the storm hit the Islas Marias, about 100 kilometers off the mainland. It was expected to land ashore south of Mazatlan, a tourist destination of some 500,000 people with many emigrants from the US and Canada.
When the Willa turned, the beach in Mazatlan almost disappeared, and the waves hit the coastal boulevard. Black clouds towered over them.
Some surfers took advantage of the high waves even as the workers barricaded windows on hotels, shops and homes.
Schools were closed and the streets almost empty.
The federal government issued a decree "extraordinary emergency" for 1
Officials said 7,000 to 8,000 people would be evacuated from low-lying areas, mainly in the state of Sinaloa, where small towns surrounded by farmland between Sea and lagoons lie
There was no immediate word about the conditions in the Islas Marias, a group of islands that included a nature reserve and a federal prison.
The Forecasters said Willa would blow ashore 220 miles (220 miles) from Mazatlan to San Blas.
Bob Swanson is from Saskatchewan, Canada, and spends two to six months a year at his home near Cerritos. Mazatlan said he filled his washing machine with water, filled his gas tank, and gassed his car that he needed to be on the safe side
"I'm from a land where we have hurricanes and dangerous storms. I'm waiting somehow, holding my breath," he said on the phone as he sat on his porch smoking a cigarette.
Enrique Moreno, mayor of Escuinapa, a community of about 60,000 people on Willa's potential runway, said officials are trying to evacuate everyone in the coastal village of Teacapan. He estimated that 3,000 were affected, but he expected some would try to stay.
"People do not want to evacuate, but it's for their safety," he said.
At noon Tuesday, Willa was centered about 25 miles (40 kilometers) northwest of Islas Marias and 105 miles (1705 kilometers) south of Mazatlan. He moved with 9 km / h in north-northeastern direction.
The hurricane-force wind blew 65 km from the center of the storm, and tropical storm winds blew up to 125 miles (205 km).
The US hurricane center warned that Willa could fly 15-30 centimeters of rain – in some places up to 18 centimeters (45 centimeters) – to parts of Jalisco, Nayarit and Sinaloa, causing flooding and landslides in mountainous areas
Further south, the remains of the Tropical Storm Vicente continued to cause heavy rain, leading to dangerous flooding in southern and southwestern Mexico. Officers in the state of Oaxaca said seven adults and five children had drowned or been killed in mudslides.
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