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With sustained winds of 160 miles per hour and an estimated central pressure of 925 millibars, Hurricane Willa reached "potentially catastrophic" Category 5 intensity Monday morning, the National Hurricane Center said.

A hurricane warning has been issued along Mexico's west coast.

At the time of landfall, the wind shear could pick up prompting debilitating of the system, however, it should still remain a strong and unsafe hurricane while moving inland late Tuesday and into Wednesday. Either way, NHC called the storm "potentially catastrophic".

The Class A tranche of notes from this Fonden 2017 catastrophe bond paid out in full following the magnitude 8.1 quake that struck off the coast of Chiapas, Mexico, which triggered the parametric cat bond notes and as a result Mexico benefited from an efficient and quick paying source of reinsurance protection that aided disaster relief.

Willa is located about 135 miles south-southwest of Islas Marias, an archipelago off central Mexico's Pacific coast.

A Category 5 storm - the top level of the Saffir-Simpson hurricane and wind scale - Willa could strengthen throughout this evening. Landfall is predicted for late Tuesday or early Wednesday, probably as a major hurricane (Category 3 or above), the National Hurricane Center said.

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It's forecast to unleash torrential rains and major flooding, the US National Hurricane Center (NHC) said.

Willa is expected to dump 15 to 30 centimeters (six to 12 inches) of rain on parts of Sinaloa, Nayarit and Jalisco states, with some areas getting up to 45 centimeters. It was moving north at 11kmh.

About 60 miles (100 kilometres) 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. "Maximum sustained winds have decreased to near 40 miles per hour with higher gusts". A tropical storm warning is also in effect from Playa Perula to San Blas.

Elsewhere, Tropical Storm Vicente - with maximum sustained winds of 75km/h - was expected to bring "heavy rainfall and flooding" over Mexico's south and southwest.

More than 300 mm of rain is expected to batter Western Jalisco, Western Nayarit and Southern Sinaloa in Mexico triggering floods and landslides.


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