Dangerous Hurricane Willa closes in on Mexico

Tourists at the beach in Mazatlan, Mexico, on Oct 21, 2018. Hurricane Willa is expected to land on Oct 23.
Tourists at the beach in Mazatlan, Mexico, on Oct 21, 2018. Hurricane Willa is expected to land on Oct 23.PHOTO: AFP

MEXICO CITY (AFP) - Hurricane Willa surged to a dangerous Category Four storm on Sunday (Oct 21) off Mexico's Pacific coast, United States forecasters said.

"Extremely dangerous... Hurricane Willa continues to rapidly strengthen (and is) forecast to produce life-threatening storm surge, wind and rainfall over portions of south-western and west-central Mexico, beginning on Tuesday," the Miami-based National Hurricane Centre (NHC) warned.

The monster storm was 365km south-southwest of Cabo Corrientes, Mexico, packing top sustained winds of 220kmh.

It was churning forward north-northwest, at a slow 9kmh, the forecast said.

"Additional strengthening is expected during the next day or so, and Willa is forecast to be a dangerous hurricane when it reaches the coast of Mexico," the NHC said.

Mexico's government has put various parts of the coast on alert.