MEXICO CITY — Mexico on Monday was bracing for the arrival of Hurricane Willa, which intensified into a Category 5 storm expected to wreak havoc on the country’s Pacific coast.

The hurricane could produce “life-threatening” storm surge, wind and rainfall, with a “potentially catastrophic” impact on western-central and southwestern regions of the country, according to the U.S. National Hurricane Center.

The hurricane’s winds were blowing at up to 195 mph, according to Mexico’s National Meteorological Service.

It was making its way northward, but it could weaken and be downgraded to a Category 2 storm before making landfall Tuesday, the meteorological service said.

The states of Jalisco, Michoacan, Nayarit and Sinaloa started preparing protective measures such as evacuations and setting up temporary shelters.

The hurricane already sparked heavy rains in Michoacan, where helicopters were flying above affected areas to see if help was needed, the state’s civil protection authorities said on Twitter.

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