Pacific Storm Otis hit the southwestern coast of Mexico at full strength as a top-level five hurricane near the popular seaside resort of Acapulco. President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said yesterday that communications with the region had been completely cut off. It is therefore still difficult to estimate the full extent of the damage.
The storm reached the mainland with winds of about 270 kilometers per hour and gusts of up to 330 kilometers per hour, according to the U.S. Hurricane Center in Miami (NHC) and the Mexican Meteorological Service.
In just about twelve hours, Otis developed from a tropical storm into an extremely dangerous hurricane. “According to records, a hurricane rarely develops so quickly and with such strength,” Lopez Obrador said at a press conference.
500,000 connections temporarily without power
On the ground, “Otis” lost strength and moved as a Category 1 hurricane, with winds reaching speeds of 130 kilometers per hour, according to the Mexican Meteorological Service. According to meteorologists, Otis is expected to dissipate over the mountainous region during the day, but will continue to receive heavy rain.
The Mexican Civil Defense reported power outages as a result of the storm in Guerrero state, which also includes Acapulco. According to government service provider CFE, 500,000 lost power connections. The power supply has now been partially restored. According to the president, landslides also occurred on rural roads and a military airport was damaged. There were initially no reports of deaths.
The earthquake early warning system was damaged
The hurricane also damaged the earthquake early warning system on Mexico’s Pacific coast. The operator said that communication with at least 27 of about 100 sensors in the earthquake monitoring network had been lost. If a strong earthquake occurs near damaged sensors, residents cannot be warned in time.
It was said that although engineers were on hand to make repairs, important transportation routes in the area were halted as a result of the storm.
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