Published: Wed, October 24, 2018
Science | By Michele Flores

Willa weakens to tropical depression, still brings rain to Mexico

Willa weakens to tropical depression, still brings rain to Mexico

A general view shows the sea along the Mazatlan coast as Hurricane Willa approaches the Pacific beach resort, Mexico on October 23, 2018. Emergency officials said they evacuated more than 4,250 people in coastal towns and set up 58 shelters ahead of the risky Category 3 storm.

Farther to the south, Tropical Storm Vicente had weakened to a tropical depression early Tuesday, but it was still bringing heavy rainfall that caused unsafe flooding in southern and southwestern Mexico.

Damage assessments were scanty before dawn due to darkness and poor communications, but federal officials said power had been knocked out in some spots and there were early reports of flimsy structures with tin roofs sustaining damage from the 120 miles per hour (195 kph) winds.

Hurricane Willa has made landfall near Isla Del Bosque, Sinaloa, on the western coast of Mexico, approximately 50 miles south of Mazatlán.

Civil protection authorities in Durango state said 200 people had been evacuated from the village of La Soledad as a precaution in case of a possible overspill from the Santa Elena dam southeast of the city of Durango.

Hurricane Willa swept onto Mexico's Pacific mainland with 120 miles per hour (195 kph) winds Tuesday night, hitting an area of beach towns, fishing villages and farms after roaring over an offshore penal colony. From there, the storm will move northeast and into southern Texas by Wednesday.

Forecasters said Willa would then blow ashore in late afternoon somewhere along a 220-km (140-mile) stretch from the resort city of Mazatlan to San Blas.

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No coastal watches or warnings were in effect. He and his son, who also works at the hotel, stayed on the job, though the rest of his family had left the area.

Precipitation will be all rain after around 9 a.m. and continue throughout the day, with the rain, heavy at times, accompanied by gusty winds that could bring down tree limbs and cause power outages. There is nobody in the streets. "But not everyone wanted to leave, even though authorities made it clear that he who stays does so at his own peril".

Mexican emergency officials say they've evacuated more than 4,250 people in towns along the Pacific coast that are threatened by Hurricane Willa.

Schools in the affected areas have been closed since Monday.

As Willa neared, the beach in Mazatlan nearly disappeared, with waves slamming against the coastal boulevard under looming black clouds. A few surfers took advantage of the high waves even as workers boarded up windows on hotels, shops and homes.

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.

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