PUERTO VALLARTA — Following the passage of Hurricane Willa earlier this week, Puerto Vallarta has announced that operations are returning to normal.
After an extensive evaluation of the city by the Civil Protection and Fire Department, it was determined that the risk of storm surges and winds has been significantly decreased, and that Puerto Vallarta’s tourism infrastructure was left with no major damage. This includes: Licendiado Gustavo Díaz Ordaz International Airport, which has remained open; trans-national roads; and the marina, cruise port, and Pier Los Muertos, which provides access to areas south of Puerto Vallarta such as Yelapa.
City services will also be back to normal, including schools and garbage collection. Cleaning crews and public works and public services personnel have begun clearing debris left by high winds and waves.
According to Adrian Bobadilla, head of Civil Protection and Puerto Vallarta’s Fire Department, a total of 587 tourists and 62 locals were housed in city shelters because they were in high-risk areas, mostly around local bodies of water. He also mentioned that many locals opted to stay with family members while some hotels conducted voluntary evacuations according to their own contingency plans.
Hurricane Willa briefly reached Category 5 strength on Monday, with winds of 260 kph, before weakening to Category 4. Officials said up to 8,000 people were evacuated from low-lying areas, mostly in Sinaloa state.