This image provided by NOAA on Monday, Oct. 22, 2018, shows Hurricane Willa in the eastern Pacific, on a path to smash into Mexico’s western coast. (NOAA via AP)

Category 5 Hurricane Willa threatens Mexico’s Pacific coast

Hurricane-force winds extended 30 miles (45 kilometres) from the storm’s centre

Hurricane Willa grew into a potentially catastrophic Category 5 storm and swept toward Mexico’s Pacific coast with winds of 160 mph (260 kph) Monday, threatening a stretch of high-rise resort hotels, surfing beaches and fishing villages.

The hurricane was expected to pass over or near the Islas Marias — a set of islands about 60 miles offshore that include a nature preserve and a federal prison — early Tuesday, then blow ashore in the afternoon or the evening between the resort town of Mazatlan and San Blas, a distance of about 140 miles (220 km).

It was projected to weaken somewhat before hitting land but was still expected to be extremely dangerous.

The governments of Sinaloa and Nayarit states ordered coastal region schools to close and began preparing emergency shelters.

READ MORE: Hurricane Michael left path of destruction, isn’t done yet

Mazatlan, with a metropolitan-area population of about 500,000, is a popular vacation spot. It is closer to the U.S. than most other Pacific resorts and home to a large number of American and Canadian expatriates.

The hurricane’s projected track also included Esquinapa, a town a few miles inland with almost 60,000 people in and around it.

As of midday Monday, Willa was centred about 135 miles (215 kilometres) south-southwest of Cabo Corrientes and was moving at 7 mph (11 kph).

Hurricane-force winds extended 30 miles (45 kilometres) from the storm’s centre, and tropical storm-force winds were up to 105 miles (1650 kilometres) out.

The U.S. National Hurricane Center warned that Willa could bring 6 to 12 inches (15 to 30 centimetres) of rain — with up to 18 inches (45 centimetres) in some places — to parts of Jalisco, Nayarit and Sinaloa states, with flash flooding and landslides possible in mountainous areas.

Farther to the south, Tropical Storm Vicente weakened but was still expected to produce heavy rainfall and flooding over parts of southern and southwestern Mexico.

The Associated Press


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Nanaimo Dry Grad needs some more volunteers

Volunteers willing to work the late shift June 21 are especially needed, says organizer

First cruise ship of the season docks in Nanaimo

Silversea’s Silver Muse makes port call

Motorcyclist injured in crash on old Island Highway

Accident happened at Dorman Road intersection at 11 a.m. Sunday

Community checks out tons of trucks

Touch a Truck happened at Nanaimo North Town Centre today, June 16

Parksville resort fire caused by flammable gas used to extract oil from cannabis

Investigators detail reasons for explosion and blaze that destroyed building

Community checks out tons of trucks

Touch a Truck happened at Nanaimo North Town Centre today, June 16

Port Alberni man dies in ATV accident

A Port Alberni man has died following an all-terrain vehicle accident near… Continue reading

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Prevent ‘reno-victions’

Lack of vacancy control results in rent hikes far exceeding allowable increases, says letter writer

Hospice gets some help thanks to community hike

Nanaimo Community Hospice Society’s Hike for Hospice was held Saturday at Westwood Lake

New Nanaimo fire hall plans unveiled

Nanaimo Fire Rescue hopes new station will be operational by 2022

B.C. VIEWS: When farmland protection doesn’t protect farmers

Secondary residences aren’t mansions, families tell Lana Popham

Bombers down B.C. Lions 33-23 in season opener

Former Lion Andrew Harris leads Winnipeg with 148 rushing yards

Every cigarette and lottery ticket stolen from Parksville’s Log Cabin General Store

Break-in, theft occurred late on June 10 or early June 11

Monkey spotted on late-night jaunt in Campbell River

Conservation officers also apparently looking for cougar in the area

Most Read