OAN’s Elizabeth Volberding
11:30 AM – Thursday, October 26, 2023
At least 27 dead and four others are now missing after Hurricane Otis hit Acapulco, a city on the Pacific Coast of Mexico, making landfall as a Category 5 hurricane.
On Wednesday, Hurricane Otis strengthened to a Category 5 storm as it hit Mexico’s Pacific Coast.
Officials announced the news of the fatalities and injuries on Thursday.
The Category 5 storm, with winds up to 165-mph, made “catastrophic damage,” according to the United States National Hurricane Center. Initially, the storm began as a tropical storm on Tuesday and later intensified into a massive hurricane within 24 hours.
“This rainfall will produce flash and urban flooding, along with mudslides in areas of higher terrain,” the National Hurricane Center said.
Acapulco, also known as the Pearl of the Pacific, has been in the process of recovery after being hit by the hurricane, which now marks the most forceful storm in history for the Pacific coast of Mexico.
Before Hurricane Otis, the most powerful hurricane that previously hit Mexico’s Pacific Coast was Hurricane Patricia in 2015, which was a Category 4 storm.
Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador made a statement regarding the hurricane and the recently reported deaths.
“There will be rain all day and we are trying to reestablish communications. So far, we have no data on human losses, but we do have data on material damage, broken roads … the highway itself reaching Acapulco has landslides,” López Obrador said Wednesday. “There is no possibility of flying by plane or helicopter. We have to wait, the prognosis is that it will decrease in intensity. It is a very strong hurricane and it has atypical behavior.”
The region where the hurricane hit is now severely damaged, with buildings and structures wrecked.
López Obrador said that the hurricane had the power to plummet every power-line pole in the area, which left the city with a population of 1 million with no electricity. Acapulco is now left in darkness, without power or communication abilities.
Additionally, several farmers had their corn crops ruined by Otis’ wind strength and pummeling rain, however, the president said that the tragic deaths are what hurts the most.
López Obrador disclosed information regarding one fatality from the storm, explaining that a soldier was killed when a “wall of his home collapsed on him.” Additionally, three Navy members were among the missing people.
The remnants of Hurricane Otis are anticipated to generate more rainfall totals between four and six inches through Thursday across the western coastal area of Oaxaca, Mexico.
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