Children who were evacuated from their homes play in a big room at the Convention Center being used as a shelter while Hurricane Willa approaches the Pacific beach resort, Mexico October 23, 2018.
Calgarian Jacqueline Koenig arrived in Puerto Vallarta, at the Now Amber Resort, Sunday and said she's keeping a close eye on the forecast.
Hurricane Willa roared into a cluster of Mexican islands holding a prison colony and headed for a Tuesday afternoon collision with a stretch of the country's Pacific coast, its 120 miles per hour (195 kph) winds and high waves threatening high-rise resorts, surfing beaches and fishing villages.
According to the National Hurricane Center, a Hurricane Warning is in effect for San Blas to Mazatlan, including Las Islas Marias, while a Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for Playa Perula to San Blas, as well as north of Mazatlan to Bahia Tempehuaya.
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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. The storm is now about 75 miles northeast of Mexico's midwestern state of Durango, moving north at 25 mph. Emergency officials said they evacuated more than 4,250 people in coastal towns and set up 58 shelters ahead of the unsafe Category 3 storm.
Willa has maximum sustained winds of 205 kilometers (125 miles) per hour, the NHC said. Mazatlan is a popular vacation spot and home to a large number of American and Canadian expatriates. There could be life-threatening flash floods and mudslides. "But not everyone wanted to leave, even though authorities made it clear that he who stays does so at his own peril".
Torrential rains began in the afternoon, and emergency officials said they had evacuated more than 4,250 people in coastal towns and set up 58 shelters ahead of the unsafe storm.
In one of the tourist resorts, the beach bore the brunt of the attack as huge waves slammed the coastal boulevard and clouds gathered in the sky. Schools were ordered closed. A few surfers enjoyed the big waves while the streets onshore were almost deserted except for workers boarding up windows at hotels, shops and homes.
The Hurricane Center also warned that Willa could cover parts of Jalisco, Nayarit and Sinaloa states with 6 to 18 inches of rain.
Willa's fierce winds eased as the storm barreled inland over Mexico early on Wednesday, unleashing heavy rains after causing power outages and toppling trees on the coast, though no deaths have been reported, officials and forecasters said.