Evacuations Continue in Mexico Due to Hurricane Willa Floods

Evacuations Continue in Mexico Due to Hurricane Willa Floods

There were no immediate reports of deaths or missing people, but the storm's 120 miles per hour (195 kph) winds damaged a hospital, knocked out power, toppled wood-shack homes and ripped metal roofing off other houses in the Sinaloa state municipality of Escuinapa.

But the U.S. National Hurricane Center warns that it is still likely to bring "life-threatening storm surge, wind and rainfall" to parts of west-central and southwestern Mexico. CGTN's Alasdair Baverstock filed this report from Sinaloa on the storm's aftermath.

Speaking by telephone, Jose Garcia, a resident of the area hardest hit by Willa, said he had hunkered down with others in a hotel in Escuinapa waiting for the storm to pass, listening to buildings rattle as the storm drove onward. Federal authorities declined to comment on precautions that were taken at the prison, citing security concerns, but said the safety of prisoners was a priority.

Winds were at 45 miles per hour and the storm was moving the northeast into the Mexico state of Durango at 20 miles per hour.

"Several other tourist getaways in the state of Nayarit as well as the beach resort of Puerto Vallarta in Jalisco state were close to Willa´s path, which was forecast to bring a life-threatening storm surge of ocean water, wind and rainfall". So far, there are hurricane warnings from San Blas, east of the Panama Canal, to Mazatlan along the western Mexican coastline.

Its center is about 50 miles (80 kilometers) south-southeast of Mazatlan.

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A general view shows the sea along the Mazatlan coast as Hurricane Willa approaches the Pacific beach resort, Mexico on October 23, 2018. He and his son, who also works at the hotel, stayed on the job, though the rest of his family had left the area.

"We bought supplies for the whole family - bottled water, unperishable food, things we can eat quickly", said Roberto Carlos, 45, as a light rain set in and wind started to sway the town's palm trees. There is nobody in the streets.

Enrique Moreno, mayor of Escuinapa, a municipality of about 60,000 people lying on Willa's potential track, said officials were trying to evacuate everybody in the seaside village of Teacapan. Schools were closed and the streets almost empty.

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.

They spread out blankets along the walls and waited for the storm.

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 auto in case he needed to head into the mountains for safety.

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