Mexico braced Tuesday for the impact of Hurricane Willa as the Category 3 storm barreled toward its Pacific Coast with what forecasters warned would be potentially deadly force. Willa was a maximum Category 5 hurricane on Monday, but lost strength as it moved toward landfall — expected on Tuesday afternoon or evening, the US National Hurricane Center said in its 1500 GMT update. Nevertheless, the NHC warned, “Willa is expected to be a dangerous hurricane when it reaches the coast of Mexico.” It was on course to slam into Mexico between the states of Sinaloa and Nayarit, somewhere around the resort town of Mazatlan. The NHC said aircraft data showed the core of the storm was currently sweeping over the Marias islands, where Mexico has a federal prison. The interior ministry did not immediately respond to questions on whether it had evacuated the 1,000 inmates housed there or what other emergency measures were in place for the penal colony. In Mazatlan, a tranquil beach town with turquoise waters, the hotels that line the coast were largely empty as workers nailed plywood over the windows. Residents were stocking up on food and water, but there were no signs of shortages so… Read full this story
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