Science & Environment

Hurricane Otis Makes Landfall As Category 5 Storm Off Mexico’s Coast

ACAPULCO, Mexico (AP) — Hurricane Otis slammed into Mexico’s southern Pacific coast as a catastrophic Category 5 hurricane early Wednesday, bringing 165 mph (170 kmh) winds and heavy rain to Acapulco and surrounding cities, stirring recollections of a 1997 storm that killed dozens of individuals.

The hurricane was anticipated to weaken rapidly in Guerrero state’s steep mountains. But the 5 to 10 inches of rain forecast, with as a lot as 15 inches potential in some areas, raised the specter of landslides and floods.

Otis had strengthened rapidly, going from a tropical storm to a Category 5 hurricane in 12 hours Tuesday. Residents of Guerrero’s coast scrambled to arrange, however the storm’s sudden depth appeared to catch many off guard.

“We’re on maximum alert,” Acapulco Mayor Abelina López stated Tuesday night time as she urged residents to hunker down at residence or transfer to town’s shelters.

This satellite tv for pc picture offered by NOAA on Tuesday, Oct. 24, 2023, reveals Hurricane Otis approaching Mexico’s Pacific coast close to Acapulco. Otis is forecast to make landfall early Wednesday and there’s a hurricane warning in impact from Punta Maldonado to Zihuatanejo. (NOAA through AP)

Otis might be extra devastating than Hurricane Pauline that hit Acapulco in 1997, destroying swaths of town and killing greater than 200 folks, López stated. Hundreds of others have been injured in flooding and mudslides.

Between the internationally recognized resorts of Acapulco and Zihuatanejo are two dozen small cities and villages perched between the mountains and the ocean.

Otis’ arrival got here simply days after Hurricane Norma struck the southern tip of Mexico’s Baja California Peninsula to the north.

Acapulco is a metropolis of greater than 1 million folks on the foot of steep mountains. Luxury houses and slums alike cowl town’s hillsides with views of the glistening Pacific.

Guerrero is one among Mexico’s most impoverished and violent states. Just Monday, an area police chief and 12 cops were massacred and found on a highway in El Papayo, which is within the Guerrero township of Coyuca de Benitez not removed from Otis’ influence zone.

In the Atlantic, Hurricane Tammy continued transferring northeastward over open water with winds of 85 mph (140 kph) after sweeping by the Lesser Antilles over the weekend. Tammy was situated about 570 miles (915 kilometers) south-southeast of Bermuda. The storm was anticipated to develop into a robust extratropical cyclone by Thursday, in accordance with the U.S. National Hurricane Center.

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María Verza reported from Mexico City.

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