Dangerous Category 4 Hurricane Willa closes in on Mexico coast

MEXICO CITY (AP) — Mexican authorities are rushing to evacuate low-lying areas and set up shelters as an “extremely dangerous” Hurricane Willa with winds of 145 mph (230 kph) heads toward a Tuesday afternoon landfall along a stretch of Pacific coast dotted with high-rise resorts, surfing beaches and fishing villages.

Farther south, Mexican officials reported late Monday that there have been 12 deaths related to heavy rains from Tropical Storm Vicente.

Willa briefly reached Category 5 strength, then weakened a bit to Category 4. But the U.S. National Hurricane Center warns that it is still likely to bring “life-threatening storm surge, wind and rainfall” to parts of west-central and southwestern Mexico.

It is aiming at a low-lying region where towns sit amid farmland tucked between the sea and lagoons.