Environmental: Hurricane Willa is expected to make landfall Tuesday, 23 October, afternoon (local time) as a Category 4 storm. Officials have warned that the hurricane is likely to be accompanied by a significant storm surge. As such, over 7,000 people have been evacuated from low lying areas; mostly in Sinaloa State. The storm is expected to make landfall between Mazatlan and the low-lying village of Teacapan; the latter of which has almost entirely been evacuated due to the threat of flooding.
In addition to the storm surge, forecasters have warned that the storm could bring between 15 to 30cm of rain (with 45cm expected in some areas). As a result, there is a high risk of flash flooding and landslides. Windspeeds also present a considerable risk to people and properties along the coast.
Unlike hurricanes that impact the Caribbean or Mexico’s east coast; the terrain along the country’s western coast rises rapidly from the sea level up to the Sierra Madre Occidental mountain range. As such, even very powerful storms such as Hurricane Willa are quickly weakened and rarely cause significant damage inland. There will, however, be a large amount of rainfall as far as 100km inland.