Fierce Hurricane Willa closes in on Mexican resort area

10/23/2018 – The Washington Post

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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. (Marco Ugarte/Associated Press)

By Marco Ugarte

MAZATLAN, Mexico — Hurricane Willa roared into a cluster of Mexican islands holding a prison colony and headed for a Tuesday afternoon collision with a stretch of the country’s Pacific coast, its 120 mph (195 kph) winds and high waves threatening high-rise resorts, surfing beaches and fishing villages.

Willa briefly reached Category 5 strength on Monday, then weakened to a Category 3. But the U.S. National Hurricane Center warned that it was still likely to bring life-threatening storm surge, wind and rain to parts of western Mexico.

The storm battered the Islas Marias, about 60 miles (100 kilometers) off the mainland, on Tuesday morning. It was expected to blow ashore in the evening south of Mazatlan, a tourist resort of about 500,000 people with many U.S. and Canadian expatriates.

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