Hurricane Willa Strengthens to Category 5 Storm, Aims for Mexico’s Pacific Coast

The National Hurricane Center's projection of Hurricane Willa's path as of 5 a.m. ET on Sunday Oct. 21 2018.               National Hurricane Center

The National Hurricane Center's projection of Hurricane Willa's path as of 5 a.m. ET on Sunday Oct. 21 2018. National Hurricane Center

This weekend Hurricane Willa has quickly gained strength as a Category 4 hurricane, being described as "extremely dangerous" by the National Hurricane Center (NHC).

Hurricane Willa, a huge and life threatening storm that's approaching category 5 status, could devastate Mexico's western coast, forecasters warn.

Hurricane Willa has quickly strengthened into a deadly Category 4 storm and will intensify further this week in wake of low wind shear and warm water temperatures.

Hurricane Willa was about 240 miles (390 kilometers) southwest of the port city of Manzanillo early Sunday with maximum sustained winds of 85 mph (140 kph).

Hurricane force winds extended 30 miles (45 kilometers) from the storm's core and tropical storm force winds were up to 90 miles (150 kilometers) out.

"While some weakening is forecast by tonight and Tuesday, Willa is expected to be a risky hurricane when it reaches the coast of Mexico late Tuesday or early Wednesday", it said.

It will then weaken slightly before making landfall but will still be a risky hurricane when it does hit.

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Tension had enveloped the state following the communal clash at Kasuwan Magani in the Kajuru Local Government Area of the state. The police in the state claimed that no fewer than 55 persons were killed in the clash, while 22 suspects had been arrested.

Willa could see some weakening Tuesday, but is still expected to reach land Tuesday afternoon or evening as a risky hurricane, bringing life-threatening storm surge, wind and rain, the NHC said.

The southwestern Mexican coast is warned to brace for unsafe storm surges which will impact on Tuesday.

A hurricane warning was posted for Mexico's western coast between San Blas and Mazatlan, including the Islas Marias, a nature reserve and federal prison directly in the forecast track of the storm.

Playa Perula to San Blas has a Tropical Storm Warning with the conditions expected within 36 hours.

It will still produce heavy rainfall and flooding in parts of the south and southeast.

Heavy rainfall will also cause risky conditions, as six to twelve inches are forecast to fall. The NHC says this rainfall will cause storm surge and "life-threatening flash flooding and landslides".

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