Hurricane Willa Threatening Mazatlan Resort Area, Forces Thousands to Evacuate

By Jack Phillips
Jack Phillips
Jack Phillips
Breaking News Reporter
Jack Phillips is a breaking news reporter at The Epoch Times based in New York.
October 23, 2018 Updated: October 23, 2018

Hurricane Willa remains a Category 3 storm with 120 mph winds and is nearing the central coast of Mexico. The storm is forecast to hit near the resort area of Mazatlan.

Officials said they evacuated 4,250 people in coastal towns and set up about 60 shelters ahead of the storm, according to The Associated Press on Oct. 23.

The federal government issued a decree of “extraordinary emergency” for 19 municipalities in Nayarit and Sinaloa states.

A hurricane warning is in effect for San Blas to Mazatlan, including Las Islas Marias. A tropical storm warning is in effect for Playa Perula to San Blas and north of Mazatlan to Bahia Tempehuaya.

mazatlan to get hit by hurricane willa-ap
View of the beach before the arrival of Hurricane Willa in Mazatlan, Mexico, Tuesday, Oct. 23, 2018. “Extremely dangerous” Hurricane Willa headed toward a Tuesday afternoon collision with a stretch of Mexico’s Pacific coast, its strong winds and high waves threatening high-rise resorts, surfing beaches, and fishing villages. (AP Photo/Marco Ugarte)

“Interests elsewhere along the coasts of west-central and southwestern mainland Mexico should monitor the progress of Willa,” said the NHC.

According to the agency: “A faster motion toward the northeast is expected tonight. On the forecast track, the center of Willa will approach the coast of west-central Mexico this afternoon, and make landfall within the hurricane warning area along the west-central coast of mainland Mexico early this evening.”

While Willa remains a Category 3 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale, “little change in strength is expected before Willa reaches the coast of Mexico.”

“Rapid weakening is expected after landfall and Willa is expected to dissipate over northern Mexico on Wednesday,” officials said.

Willa is slated to produce total rainfall accumulations of 6 to 12 inches and may produce local amounts to 18 inches, the NHC said, adding that landslides and flash flooding are likely.

Epoch Times Photo
The core of the storm, a Category 3 hurricane with 125 mph winds, passed over Las Islas Marias, Mexico, the agency said at 11 a.m. ET. (NHC)

Bob Swanson, who is from Saskatchewan, Canada, and lives in Mazatlan, said he filled his home fuel tank and gassed up his car. “I come from a country where we have hurricanes and vicious storms, so I’m kind of waiting with bated breath,” he told AP.

The NHC, in a discussion, issued several warnings:

There is life-threatening storm surge occurring along the coasts of the Isla Marias as well as along the coast of southern Sinaloa and Nayarit states. Meanwhile, life-threatening hurricane-force winds are slated to reach the coast of west-central Mexico within the hurricane warning area within the next several hours. Also also, heavy rains from the storm will produce “life-threatening flash flooding and landslides over much of southwestern and west-central Mexico.”

Vicente

Elsewhere in the tropics, post-tropical cyclone Vicente continued to weaken, according to the NHC.

The system is expected to weaken inland and dissipate over the next few days.

Mexican officials said that heavy rains from Vicente caused deadly flooding and mudslides in southern and southwestern Mexico, leaving at least 11 people dead, according to AP.

Jack Phillips
Breaking News Reporter
Jack Phillips is a breaking news reporter at The Epoch Times based in New York.