There were no immediate reports of deaths or missing people, but the storm's 120 miles per hour (195 kph) winds damaged a hospital, knocked out power, toppled wood-shack homes and ripped metal roofing off other houses in the Sinaloa state municipality of Escuinapa when it came ashore Tuesday evening.
Willa, a Category 3 storm on the five-step Saffir-Simpson scale was one of the most powerful hurricanes to enter Mexico from the Pacific in recent years.
A general view shows the Malecon as Hurricane Willa approaches the Pacific beach resort of Mazatlan, Mexico Oct. 23, 2018.
"Life-threatening storm surge, wind, and rainfall (are) spreading onshore", the U.S. hurricane center said earlier.
The five boroughs will likely see between 1 and 2 inches of rain while the eastern end of Long Island and the New Jersey coast should prepare for "gale-force winds" over 40 miles per hour and some flooding, said Accuweather senior meteorologist Tom Kines. The Hurricane Center added that the government of Mexico has discontinued all coastal tropical cyclone warnings for the country.
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Hurricane Willa has swept onto Mexico's Pacific mainland with 120mph (195km/h) winds, hitting beach towns, fishing villages and farms after roaring over an offshore penal colony.
Farther to the south, Tropical Storm Vicente had weakened to a tropical depression early Tuesday, but it was still bringing heavy rainfall that caused unsafe flooding in southern and southwestern Mexico. Federal authorities declined to comment on precautions that were taken at the prison, citing security concerns, but said the safety of prisoners was a priority.
Although hotels, restaurants and stores were boarded over, people ventured onto Mazatlan's coastal boulevard to watch a spectacular sunset as the hurricane obscured the sky to the south.
Alberto Hernandez, a hotel worker in Teacapan, close to where the storm was making landfall, expressed confidence that the building would hold up. He and his son, who also works at the hotel, stayed on the job, though the rest of his family had left the area.
Precipitation will be all rain after around 9 a.m. and continue throughout the day, with the rain, heavy at times, accompanied by gusty winds that could bring down tree limbs and cause power outages.
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He said the state was trying to evacuate people in communities at risk of flooding.
About 100 km (60 miles) up the coast in Mazatlan, with a metropolitan-area population of about 500,000, Mayor Jose Joel Boucieguez said officials prepared shelters and were closely monitoring low-lying areas. Schools were closed and the streets almost empty.
They spread out blankets along the walls and waited for the storm.
"The house we're living in is not well built", said Sergio Ernesto Meri Franco, who rents a studio apartment.
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