The Mexican government reported that Hurricane Otis caused the death of 27 individuals and four others remain unaccounted for. The powerful storm struck the Pacific resort city of Acapulco one day prior.
The president, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, stated that the government is taking action to restore power and repair the damage caused by the powerful category 5 hurricane that struck the southern state of Guerrero, leaving Acapulco without communication.
At a standard press conference for the government on Thursday, López Obrador expressed that what took place in Acapulco was extremely devastating.
Otis caused flooding on streets, damaged roofs of houses and hotels, and disrupted communication and transportation. The loss of phone service and power lines made it difficult for authorities to promptly determine the full extent of the destruction.
According to López Obrador, the devastation was extensive, with all power line poles knocked down in the affected area.
Initial photos and descriptions depicted significant destruction, with fallen trees and electrical wires submerged in muddy floodwaters, which stretched for several miles in certain regions.
The once stylish beachfront hotels in Acapulco now appear damaged and worn down after the intense storm blew out a significant number of windows, potentially even thousands.
There appeared to be a general sense of discontent with the authorities in Acapulco. Despite the deployment of approximately 10,000 military soldiers to the region, they did not have the necessary equipment to remove large amounts of mud and fallen trees from the streets.
On Wednesday, a large number of government electricity company trucks arrived in Acapulco. However, they appeared uncertain on how to bring back electricity as there were damaged power lines covered in mud and water.
During Hurricane Otis, Jakob Sauczuk and his friends sought shelter at a beachfront hotel. They took cover by laying on the floor and in between beds while praying for safety.
Sauczuk expressed frustration that his group was not provided with any warning or offered a more secure shelter by the hotel.
Pablo Navarro, a worker in the auto parts industry, was staying at a beachfront hotel in temporary accommodations. He expressed concern that he may not survive his stay on the 13th floor of the hotel.
Navarro stated that he sought refuge in the bathroom and was relieved that the door remained intact. However, in some rooms, the wind caused the windows and doors to blow out.
On Wednesday, it took authorities most of the day to partially reopen the primary highway that links Acapulco to the state capital, Chilpancingo, and Mexico City.
The airports in Acapulco, both for commercial and military use, were not yet in suitable condition for flights to resume due to significant damage.
The Diamond Zone in Acapulco, a coastal region known for its hotels, dining options, and tourist spots, appeared to be mostly submerged in a drone video uploaded by Foro TV on Wednesday. The footage showed roads and bridges completely covered by a large amount of brown water.
On Tuesday, Otis caused surprise by quickly intensifying from a tropical storm to a formidable category 5 hurricane.
Brian McNoldy, a hurricane researcher at the University of Miami, stated that it is one thing to anticipate or prepare for a category 5 hurricane making landfall. However, experiencing it unexpectedly is a true nightmare.