Mexico: the seaside resort of Acapulco isolated after the devastating passage of Hurricane Otis

Category 5 Hurricane Otis hit the city of Acapulco, Mexico, overnight from Tuesday to Wednesday. The day after his visit, President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador reported material damage, including massive power cuts depriving its residents of communication with the outside world.

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Acapulco was still cut off from the rest of Mexico on Wednesday morning, October 25. The passage of powerful Hurricane Otis caused serious damage in the famous Pacific seaside resort and its region.

“So far, we have no information on loss of life, but there is no communication,” declared President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, who mentioned “material damage”, referring to “collapses” along the highway leading to Acapulco. He assured that the government was trying to restore communications.

“The most important thing is to take care of the affected populations. We still don’t have damage assessments, because there are no communications,” National Civil Protection Coordinator Laura Velazquez told Milenio TV channel.

On social networks, videos show initial material damage. Businesses were affected and tourists in hotels placed beds and mattresses to protect their rooms, according to these videos.

Large part of Acapulco without power

The force 5 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson scale made landfall during the night from Tuesday to Wednesday with winds exceeding 250 km/hour. As expected, it weakened to category 1 as it progressed inland northwest of Acapulco.

The government sent the ministers of Defense, Navy, Security and Communications to the site. They travel by road, as they cannot get there by plane.

“Take shelter, stay in safe places: far from rivers, streams, ravines and be vigilant,” the president warned on X (ex-Twitter) Tuesday evening.

At daybreak on Wednesday, a large part of Acapulco – which has nearly 780,000 inhabitants – was without electricity following a preventive cut, according to local media.

The Federal Electricity Commission (CFE, public) indicated that it had restored power on Wednesday to 40% of the 504,000 users affected in the Acapulco region.

Schools closed, reception centers prepared

“I ask you not to let your guard down,” Governor Evelyn Salgado insisted Wednesday morning to residents of the state of Guerrero (southwest).

In Acapulco, residents barricaded themselves in their homes after stockpiling food and water.

The hotels are 50% full and local authorities have prepared places to stay in hostels, while soldiers have patrolled the beach.

Schools were closed by order of the Guerrero state government.

On October 9, 1997, the seaside resort was hit by Paulina, which caused the death of more than 200 people and caused one of the most serious natural disasters in the country, apart from an earthquake.

Caught between the Pacific and the Gulf of Mexico, Mexico is exposed to hurricanes during the season which runs from May to October-November. A dozen depressions per year can turn into more or less devastating hurricanes.

With AFP

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