At least 27 dead in Hurricane Otis, Mexican government says

The hurricane has unleashed massive flooding in the resort city of Acapulco.

LAST UPDATE | Oct 26th 2023, 6:55 PM

HURRICANE OTIS HAS killed at least 27 people as it lashed the beach resort town of Acapulco on Mexico’s Pacific coast as a scale-topping Category 5 storm, officials have said.

“Unfortunately, we received word from the state and city governments that 27 people are dead and four are missing,” Secretary of State for Security Rosa Icela Rodriguez told a news conference.

The hurricane has unleashed massive flooding in the resort city of Acapulco and people took to looting as desperate victims waited long periods for help to arrive.

While little is known about possible deaths or the full extent of the damage — Acapulco was still mostly inaccessible by road as of late last night — experts are calling Otis the strongest storm in history to make landfall along the Eastern Pacific Coast.

Many of the once sleek beachfront hotels looked like shattered hulks after Hurricane Otis blew out hundreds — and possibly thousands — of hotel windows.

Choked with mud and debris, with no electricity or internet service, the Pacific coast resort descended into chaos after the storm, as thousands engaged in massive looting.

The hurricane had dissipated over the mountains by yesterday afternoon but left devastation in its wake.

Acapulco’s Diamond Zone, an oceanfront area replete with hotels, restaurants and other tourist attractions, looked to be mostly underwater in drone footage that Foro TV posted online yesterday afternoon, with boulevards and bridges completely hidden by an enormous lake of brown water.

Large buildings had their walls and roofs partially or completely ripped off.

Dislodged solar panels, cars and debris littered the lobby of one severely damaged hotel. People wandered up to their waists in water in some areas, while on other less-flooded streets soldiers shovelled rubble and fallen palm fronds from the pavement.

While much of the city was in the dark and without phone service, some people were able to use satellite phones loaned by the Red Cross to let family members know they were okay.

Pablo Navarro, an auto parts worker who was lodged in temporary accommodations at a beachfront hotel, thought he might die in his 13th storey hotel room.

“I took shelter in the bathroom, and thankfully the door held,” Navarro said.

“But there were some rooms where the wind blew out the windows and the doors.”

He said authorities seemed to have been blindsided by the hurricane’s rapid intensification.

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