Mexican officials continue evacuations due to flood risks from Willa

Cesar Mills
October 25, 2018

Forecasters said Category 3 Hurricane Willa made landfall on Mexico's coast near the town of Isla del Bosque in the state of Sinaloa.

In the resort town of Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco Governor Aristoteles Sandoval on Monday ordered the evacuation of hotels and coastal areas, warning the storm could have "very destructive consequences".

Although Willa weakened from a Category 5 to a Category 3 hurricane on the five-step Saffir-Simpson scale Tuesday morning, the US National Hurricane Center still warned residents that the hurricane will bring a unsafe storm surge, wind and rain to western Mexico. CGTN's Alasdair Baverstock filed this report from Sinaloa on the storm's aftermath.

"Speaking by telephone, Garcia said he had hunkered down with others in a hotel waiting for the storm to pass through the town, listening to Willa rattle buildings as it drove onwards". Federal authorities declined to comment on precautions that were taken at the prison, citing security concerns, but said the safety of inmates was a priority.

Willa weakened as it moved inland but was still blowing winds of 115 mph (185 kph) more than an hour after it struck the coast and began advancing toward the state of Durango.

The US National Hurricane Centre said that the eye of the unsafe Category three storm was about to make landfall, and little variation in strength was expected beforehand.

The eye of the storm swirled Tuesday morning about 50 miles (80 kilometers) south-southeast of Mazatlán.

Thousands were evacuated from coastal areas before the hurricane arrived.

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A man looks at the sea along the Mazatlan boardwalk as Hurricane Willa approaches the Pacific beach resort on October 23, 2018.

Halloween weekend will bring more than just ghosts and goblins - a nor'easter is creeping across the USA and is expected to drench the Northeast with wet snow, rain and other scary conditions. There is nobody in the streets. Willa is 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.

He said the state was trying to evacuate people in communities at risk of flooding.

As Willa neared, the beach in Mazatlan nearly disappeared, with waves slamming against the coastal boulevard under looming black clouds. Schools were closed and the streets almost empty.

In the coastal city of Mazatlan, a major tourist hub, 182 people took refuge in the city's main convention centre which had been turned into a shelter.

"The house we're living in is not well built", said Sergio Ernesto Meri Franco, who rents a studio apartment.

Bob Swanson, a Canadian who spends two to six months of the year in his house in the Cerritos neighborhood near the shore in Mazatlan, said he filled his washing machine with water, topped up his home fuel tank and gassed up his vehicle in case he needed to head into the mountains for safety.

Other reports by GizPress

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