Updated October 23, 2018 9:43 AM EDT
MEXICO CITY – Authorities rushed to evacuate low lying areas and shelters as an "extremely dangerous" hurricane willa with maximum sustained winds of 130 miles per hour in Direction to build prediction Tuesday afternoon or evening Landfall along a stretch of Mexico's Pacific coast dotted with high-rise resorts, surfing beaches and fishing villages.
Willa briefly reached Category 5 strength Monday, then back slightly into a Category 4. But the National Hurricane Center warned that it was still likely to be "a life-threatening storm surge, wind and rainfall" into parts of West-Central and Southwestern Mexico will bring.
"Although a gradual slowdown is predicted today, Willa is likely to be a dangerous hurricane. If it reaches the coast of Mexico, a rapid slowdown is expected after landing today and Wednesday," said the hurricane center.
Workers pasted windows in hotels and officials ordered schools to be shut down in a flat bed A region where cities are surrounded by fields between sea and lagoons. For 1
Officials said 7,000 to 8,000 people were evacuated from low-lying areas, mainly in the state of Sinaloa.
The hurricane should first pass over or near the Islas Marias, an archipelago about 60 miles offshore, which includes a nature reserve and a federal prison. The Forecasters said Willa would then land somewhere along a 140-mile stretch from the resort town of Mazatlan to San Blas.
Enrique Moreno, mayor of Escuinapa, a community of about 60,000 people lying on Willa's potential runway, officials said trying to clean up everyone in the coastal village of Teacapan. He estimated that 3,000 people were affected, but he expected that some would try to stay.
"People do not want to evacuate, but it's for their safety," he said.
About 60 miles along the coast, in Mazatlan With a population of around 500,000 in the urban area, mayor Jose Joel Boucieguez said officials had prepared shelters and closely monitored low-lying areas. Mazatlan is a popular vacation spot and home to a large number of American and Canadian expatriates. From 8 pm ET, Willa was centered about 55 miles west-southwest of Islas Marias and 150 miles south-southwest of Mazatlan.
He moved north at 5 miles per hour.
Hurricane force blew 35 miles from the core of the storm, and tropical storm winds were up to 125 miles out.
The hurricane center warned that Willa could bring 6 to 12 in some parts of Jalisco, Nayarit and Sinaloa, with flash floods and landslides in mountainous areas.
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