Hurricane Willa Lashes Mexico's Pacific Coast

How a Pacific hurricane will impact Houston this week

Hurricane Willa weakens to category 3 storm, landfall well-north of Puerto Vallarta

Federal disaster agency chief Luis Felipe Puente said 11 people died as a result of Vicente.

MAZATLAN, Mexico Hurricane Willa roared over an offshore penal colony and closed in on Mexico's Pacific coast with 120 miles per hour winds today, threatening a major resort area along with fishing villages and farms.

"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.

Nevertheless, the NHC warned, "Willa is expected to be a unsafe hurricane when it reaches the coast of Mexico". The storm's hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 35 miles from the center and tropical storm-force winds up to 115 miles.

Willa will then disappear over northern Mexico on Wednesday.

It was due to weaken fast as it moved inland, the National Hurricane Center (NHC) said.

In Michoacan state, also on the Pacific coast, heavy rain caused a freight train to derail Monday in the town of La Goleta, injuring at least two workers for the Kansas City Southern rail line, authorities said.

"At this time, it looks like this storm will bring a general 1-2 inches of rain and a period of 40- to 50-mph wind gusts to the coast, and there will be some sort of wet snow over the interior", AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Dave Dombek said.

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Houston is used to keeping an eye on the Atlantic Ocean during hurricane season, but this week, the attention will focus on a hurricane from the Pacific Ocean.

The storm battered the Islas Marias, about 60 miles (100 kilometers) off the mainland, Tuesday morning.

Tropical storm warnings ranged from Playa Perula north to San Blas and from Mazatlan north to Bahia Tempehuaya.

"The people don't want to evacuate, but it's for their security", he said.

In Mazatlan, with a metropolitan-area population of about 500,000, Mayor Jose Joel Boucieguez said officials prepared shelters and were closely monitoring low-lying areas. Mazatlan is a popular vacation spot and home to a large number of American and Canadian expatriates.

Forecasters said the hurricane could bring 6 to 12 inches (15 to 30 centimetres) of rain - with up to 18 inches (45 centimetres) in some places - to parts of Jalisco, Nayarit and Sinaloa states, with flash flooding and landslides possible in mountainous areas.

Farther to the south, the remnants of Tropical Storm Vicente continued to bring heavy rain that caused risky flooding in southern and southwestern Mexico.

Officials in Oaxaca state said seven adults and five children had lost their lives in drownings or mudslides.

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