MEXICO CITY – Hurricane Willa, which made landfall as a Category 3 storm, did not cause any casualties and left limited damages after hitting western Mexico, authorities said Wednesday.
The storm came ashore on Tuesday night near the town of Escuinapa, Sinaloa state, and is rapidly moving northwest, Mexico’s National Meteorological Service (SMN) said in a statement.
Willa knocked down trees and utility poles, causing power outages in the area, while rivers burst their banks, flooding several towns in the states of Sinaloa, Nayarit and Jalisco.
Escuinapa, El Rosario and nearby areas were most affected by the hurricane, Sinaloa Gov. Quirino Ordaz said after surveying the region.
“Fortunately, no lives were lost, and this was possible thanks to the evacuation of more than 4,000 people who were placed in various shelters,” Ordaz said in Escuinapa.
The SMN said rainfall amounted to more than 182 mm (7.2 in), which caused the Baluarte, Cañas and Acaponeta rivers to burst their banks.
Various communities along the banks of these rivers reported flooding, including in Tecuala, Nayarit, where people took refuge in the town hall after the shelters were flooded.
In Jalisco, Gov. Aristoteles Sandoval said several communities were isolated after the floodwaters caused bridges to collapse.
State authorities evacuated some 3,000 people, particularly in the municipalities of Cabo Corrientes, Puerto Vallarta, La Huerta, Cihuatlan, Villa Purificacion, Tomatlan and Cuautitlan de Garcia Barragan.
In its latest report, the SMN said Willa is 120 km (75 mi) west-southwest of Monterrey, travelling a speed of 44 km/h (27 mph) with maximum sustained winds of 35 km/h (22 mph) and gusts of 55 km/h (34 mph).