The US National Hurricane Centre (NHC) reported that a major Category 4 hurricane struck the Pacific beach resort of Acapulco, near Mexico on Wednesday. NHC issued the threat of catastrophic damage due to Hurricane Otis. When it came ashore, the hurricane packed maximum sustained winds of 265 kilometres per hour.
According to details, as the storm neared land, it strengthened to the most powerful category of the five-step Saffir-Simpson scale. NHC warned that the spot where hurricane moves onshore would face catastrophic damage.
Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador appealed to the citizens through his social media handles to relocate to emergency shelters and move away from ravines, streams and rivers. News sources stated that soldiers also patrolled the beach of Acapulco.
Atento aviso a toda la población de la Costa Grande de Guerrero:
De acuerdo con la información disponible se pronostica que el huracán Otis entrará al territorio con categoría 5 entre Acapulco y Tecpan de Galeana de las 4 a las 6 de la mañana.
Están en marcha el Plan… pic.twitter.com/PrTRWHwrfl
— Andrés Manuel (@lopezobrador_) October 25, 2023
Boat operators said that they won’t run any tours and hope that Hurricane Otis would weaken before making landfall. However, they added that a serious situation would occur, in case the hurricane hit the shore.
NHC, in its weather forecast, said that Guerrero and parts of neighbouring Oaxaca state would witness rainfall of up to 51 centimetres that would result in flash and urban flooding. It added that subsequently, the areas with higher terrain would suffer from mudslides.
Hurricanes in Mexico
Mexico is the most vulnerable state against hurricanes as every year its Pacific and Atlantic coasts witness hurricanes during May & November.
A Category 4 storm hit the Pacific coast of Mexico in October 1997 – known as Hurricane Pauline. Over 200 people died in one of the deadliest hurricanes to batter Mexico.
Mexico’s Pacific coast pummeled once again in October 2015 when Patricia, the most powerful hurricane ever recorded, hit a sparsely populated mountainous area. Due to this, only material damage was recorded with zero casualties.
During the first week of October 2023, Tropical Storm Norma made landfall in the northwestern state of Sinaloa and left three people dead. Similarly, on September 2023, Hurricane Lidia (a Category 4 storm) struck the western states of Jalisco and Nayarit – causing two deaths.