October 26, 2023

MEXICO: Acapulco Devastated By A Catastrophic Category 5 Hurricane On Wednesday Morning. It Was Supposed To Be A Category 1 Hurricane And Accelerated To Cat 5 Fast. 27 People Died.

KTLA5 News published October 25, 2023: Hurricane Otis weakens over southern Mexico after battering Acapulco. Hurricane Otis slammed into Mexico’s southern Pacific coast as a catastrophic Category 5 hurricane early Wednesday, bringing dangerous winds and heavy rain to Acapulco and surrounding towns, stirring memories of a 1997 storm that killed dozens of people.
FOX 61 published October 25, 2023: Hurricane Otis's massive impact in Mexico shocks forecasters. The Category 5 hurricane smashed into Mexico's Southern Pacific coast and its rapid intensification has stunned forecasters.
10 Tampa Bay published October 26, 2023: 27 people killed in Mexico from Hurricane Otis. Otis roared ashore in Acapulco early Wednesday, unleashing massive floods as the resort city of nearly 1 million descended into chaos.

The Weather Channel
written by Jan Wesner Childs and Sean Breslin
Thursday October 26, 2023

Tens of thousands of families sought refuge in shelters, parts of the city of Acapulco are in ruin and at least 27 people are dead as the total scope of damage from Hurricane Otis in Mexico still remains unclear.

Otis roared ashore early Wednesday morning as a deadly and destructive Category 5 storm. It left Acapulco, a popular resort town, cut off from the rest of the country. Landslides and downed trees blocked roads and phone service and other utilities were knocked out.

On Thursday, a portion of the main highway was reopened and some utilities were being restored. But much of the city of 1 million people remained without power.

In addition to the dead, four people remained missing, government officials said during a Thursday morning news briefing.

Hundreds of military personnel, medical teams and rescue crews were sent to the affected areas. There were some reports that they lacked the proper equipment to clear roads of mud and debris.

“It took us a while to get there because of the rain and the remnants of the hurricane,” Mexico President Andrรฉs Manuel Lรณpez Obrador said, according to The Wall Street Journal. “The highway was blocked by collapses and landslides. But we arrived with equipment and machinery.”

It wasn't immediately clear where the deaths occurred. Lรณpez Obrador said one of the victims was a soldier killed when a wall of his home collapsed. Three of the missing were Navy personnel.

The limited information, photos and video coming from the city show severe damage to structures, including many of the hotels and high-rises in tourist areas, and flooding that inundated city streets. Windows were blown out, roofs ripped off and vehicles crushed.

Auto parts worker Pablo Navarro rode out the storm in a 13th-story hotel room on Acapulco's beachfront.

“I took shelter in the bathroom, and thankfully the door held,” Navarro told The Associated Press. “But there were some rooms where the wind blew out the windows and the doors.”

There were also reports of chaos and looting in the city, and residents desperate for basic supplies.

In more rural areas, mud and debris washed across roads and trapped people in their homes.

More than 34,500 evacuated families were in 631 temporary shelters across affected areas in Mexico, according to a report compiled by the European Commission's Civil Protection And Humanitarian Aid Operations.

Photos posted by Mexico's civil protection agency showed utility workers making repairs but didn't give details on the overall number of outages or how long repairs might take.

There was also no word on when airports might reopen or communications be fully restored.

Some said no warning was provided about the Category 5 storm, and in some hotels, guests were not moved to safer shelter.

"We laid down on the floor, and some between beds," Jakob Sauczuk, who was staying with friends at a beachfront hotel, told the AP. "We prayed a lot."

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