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Death Toll Climbs to 39 in Acapulco as Hurricane Otis Leaves Devastation in Its Wake

In the aftermath of Hurricane Otis, Acapulco stands devastated, with the Mexican government confirming a tragic toll of 39 lives lost. The victims include 29 men and 10 women, reflecting the widespread impact of the Category 5 storm that struck Acapulco with winds roaring at 165 miles per hour.

The calamity has prompted a swift response, with over 8,000 armed forces members mobilized to rescue and support those affected. Acapulco, a popular beach city, bore the brunt of the disaster, experiencing severe flooding, structural damage, and transportation disruptions. The devastation extends to more than 220,000 homes and 80% of the city’s vital hotel sector.

As the community grapples with the aftermath, communication struggles persist, making it challenging for many to reach out to their loved ones. Over 513,000 individuals were left without power, compounding the difficulties faced by the affected population.

Authorities estimate the cost of destruction to be in the billions of dollars, with initial reports approximating $15 billion. Despite the immense challenges, aid efforts are gradually gaining momentum.

President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, in a 24-minute video update on the social media platform X, addressed the nation and expressed his determination to navigate through this crisis. He defended his administration’s response, asserting that they are undertaking unprecedented efforts to manage the aftermath. Obrador also cautioned against political exploitation of the situation, criticizing critics for attempting to leverage the catastrophe ahead of the upcoming presidential elections.

While the government’s efforts are underway, some residents of Acapulco have voiced frustration, citing challenges in accessing essential supplies like food and water. Carlos Diaz, a 31-year-old teacher, expressed a sense of abandonment, reflecting the urgency for sustained relief and recovery measures.

Hurricane Otis’s unexpected intensification took forecasters by surprise, surpassing earlier predictions and marking it as the most powerful storm to ever strike Mexico’s Pacific coast. The resilience and unity of the affected communities, combined with coordinated relief efforts, will be instrumental in the arduous path to recovery.

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