Hurricane Willa strengthens to Category 5 as it moves towards Mexico

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Hurricane Willa has continued to strengthen off Mexico’s Pacific coast, becoming a powerful category five storm as it moves closer to land, U.S. forecasters say. Landfall is forecast for Tuesday.

As of 11 a.m. ET on Monday, the center of Hurricane Willa was located about 280 kilometers (175 miles) southwest of the Mary Islands, or 215 kilometers (135 miles) southwest of Cabo Corrientes, a cape in the state of Jalisco.

The U.S. National Hurricane Center said maximum sustained winds had increased to 260 kilometers (160 miles) per hours, making it a “potentially catastrophic” category 5 hurricane. Additional strengthening is likely, although some weakening is possible prior to landfall on Tuesday.

Willa is expected to bring extremely dangerous storm surge along portions of the coast of southwestern Mexico by Tuesday or Tuesday night, especially close to where the hurricane makes landfall. Willa will also bring strong winds and heavy rain, which could result in flash flooding and landslides.

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