Category 3 Willa's eye about to hit Mexico coast

How a Pacific hurricane will impact Houston this week

How a Pacific hurricane will impact Houston this week

MAZATLAN: Hurricane Willa slammed into Mexico´s Pacific coastline on Tuesday evening packing winds of 120 miles per hour (195 kph), buffeting buildings and dumping torrential rain on tourist resorts where thousands of people had moved to safety.

Willa had reached rare Category 5 status on Monday with winds near 160 miles per hour (260 kph) before it began to lose power.

The storm's core was hitting a stretch of coast about 80km south of Mazatlan, a resort city that is home to high-rise hotels and about 500,000 people, including many U.S. and Canadian expatriates.

Before hitting the mainland near Isla del Bosque in the state of Sinaloa, Willa swept over an offshore penal colony about 60 miles (100 kilometers) out in the Pacific.

Willa began losing power overnight after roaring over a stretch of beach towns, fishing villages and farms on the Pacific coast of Mexico's Sinaloa state as a Category 3 storm.Damage assessments were scanty during the night because of darkness and poor communications, but federal officials said power had been knocked out in some spots and there were early reports of flimsy structures with tin roofs sustaining damage.

The storm will likely bring 1 to 2 inches of rain and "a period of 40- to 50-mph wind gusts to the coast", according to AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Dave Dombek.

In a tweet Monday, Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto said he has asked the National System of Civil Protection to take all steps necessary to protect those in the hurricane's path as well as those affected by Tropical Storm Vicente, a weaker system tracking south of Willa that's also primed to make landfall Tuesday.

The storm has been characterized as life-threatening and potentially disastrous by the forecasters and the residents have been warned to exercise caution. More than 450 mm of rain is likely to lash pockets of the Mexican states of Jalisco, Nayarit and Sinaloa.

TRT World speaks with Paulina Gomez. He said the state was trying to evacuate people in communities at risk of flooding.

Expect a high of 48 degrees in Providence and a chance of showers, primarily between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m.

"The people don't want to evacuate, but it's for their security", he said. Shelters have been set up and emergency response teams prepared. Up to 45 centimetres of rain are forecast, along with power outages and destruction.

Emergency workers and federal troops struggled to reach beach towns left incommunicado by a blow from Hurricane Willa, and the storm continued to force evacuations Wednesday due to fear of flooding even as it dissipated over northern Mexico.

Officials in Oaxaca state said seven adults and five children had lost their lives in drownings or mudslides.

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