A devastating aftermath was left by Hurricane Otis, claiming the lives of at least 27 people, with four others still missing, according to Mexico’s government on Thursday. The Category 5 hurricane slammed into the Pacific beach resort of Acapulco, causing severe destruction in the southern state of Guerrero and leaving Acapulco cut off from the world.
Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador expressed the gravity of the situation, describing Acapulco’s plight as truly disastrous during a regular government press conference. The hurricane inundated streets, tore roofs off homes and hotels, and disrupted communication, road, and air access. The extent of the damage was difficult to assess due to downed phone service and electricity lines.
Nearly 8,400 personnel from Mexico’s army, air force, and national guard were deployed in and around Acapulco to aid in the cleanup efforts, as stated by the defense ministry. Classes were canceled for students across the state for a second day, and Governor Evelyn Salgado announced on social media that authorities were striving to restore electricity and activate drinking water pumps in Acapulco.
Mexico’s state power utility CFE mobilized over 1,300 employees to work on restoring power, especially considering that around 300,000 people were still without electricity by Wednesday evening. The international airport in the port city remained closed after Otis severely damaged the control tower, disrupted telecommunications, and blocked access roads.