Hurricane Willa makes landfall in Mexico

AFP Mexico Oct 24, 2018, 07.15 AM(IST)

hurricane willa Photograph:( AFP )

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The powerful storm, which was a maximum Category 5 hurricane on Monday, had weakened to Category 3 as it moved toward land. But forecasters warned it still had the potential to unleash deadly flooding and landslides.

Hurricane Willa made landfall in Mexico Tuesday, lashing the Pacific coast with powerful wind, heavy rain and what forecasters warned was "extremely dangerous" storm surge.

"The eye of Hurricane Willa is now over the coastline near the town of Escuinapa, Sinaloa," Mexico's National Meteorological Service said on Twitter.

The powerful storm, which was a maximum Category 5 hurricane on Monday, had weakened to Category 3 as it moved toward land. But forecasters warned it still had the potential to unleash deadly flooding and landslides.

The National Hurricane Center warned, "an extremely dangerous storm surge is occurring along portions of the coast of southwestern Mexico."

Mexico braced Tuesday for the impact of Hurricane Willa as it began unleashing a powerful storm surge on its Pacific coast, hours from what forecasters warned would be a potentially deadly landfall.

More than 4,250 people have been evacuated from high-risk areas, including tourists who were on vacation at the beach, the head of Mexico's emergency services, Luis Felipe Puente, told a press conference.

They are being housed in 58 temporary shelters.

The Mexican army has deployed troops to roll out a disaster response operation in the area.

Mexico's Pacific coast has already been hit by deadly storms and rains this hurricane season.

In September, at least 15 people were killed when flash floods hit the states of Sinaloa and Michoacan. Last week, 11 more people died in Oaxaca, including seven children.