‘Extremely dangerous’: Hurricane Willa bears down on Mexico as it nears category 5 (IMAGES)

‘Extremely dangerous’: Hurricane Willa bears down on Mexico as it nears category 5 (IMAGES)

Hurricane Willa, a huge and life threatening storm that’s approaching category 5 status, could devastate Mexico’s western coast, forecasters warn.

The hurricane has grown rapidly as it made its way across the Pacific Ocean, its winds increasing from 40mph to 155mph in 48 hours. The US National Hurricane Center has warned that the storm system and could “produce life threatening storm surge, wind and rainfall” in Mexico on Tuesday.

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Willa is expected to reach category 5 status on Monday – the highest classification for hurricanes. Forecasters predict it will make landfall between the resort towns of Mazatlan and Puerto Vallarta late Tuesday or early Wednesday.

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Some areas could see up to 18 inches of rainfall, likely triggering flash flooding and landslides in mountainous areas. A hurricane warning has also been issued for Mexico’s western coast between San Blas and Mazatlan.

Meanwhile, tropical storm Vicente, forecast to strike the south of Mexico, is expected to be reduced to a tropical depression by Monday night or early Tuesday. It will still produce heavy rainfall and flooding in parts of the south and southeast.

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