The southern coast of Mexico is preparing for Hurricane Otiscategory 5, which made landfall at 00:25 local time (6:25 GMT) near the resorts of Acapulco with the potential to cause “catastrophic damage,” according to the National Hurricane Center (CNH) of the United States.
Upon landing in Acapulco, he brought maximum sustained winds of 270 km/h and heavy rain. CNH explained that the storm could cause up to 51 cm of rain in some areas of Guerrero and Oaxaca, with the possibility of flash floods and landslides, a “potentially catastrophic” surge in hurricane and “life-threatening” wave conditions and rip currents. ».
The National Water Commission (Conagua) instead warned of waves between six and eight meters in the state of Guerrero, where Acapulco is located, and in some areas of the state of Oaxaca.
According to the NHC forecast, the typhoon “easy to lose energy” when passing through the state of Guerrero (south), which is characterized by a mountainous geography and may disappear during the night of this Wednesday.
Before the arrival of the event, preventive power cuts were made in Acapulco and other impact areas, so the port went dark when the winds of Otis started to hit, accompanied by heavy rain that flooded the coast. .
The typhoon gained unexpected strength in a few hours, because at noon on Tuesday it was still a tropical storm, which shocked the authorities and residents of the affected states, especially Guerrero.
“We expect it to be a category one” when it hit the ground, said the head of the Civil Protection of Guerrero, Roberto Arroyo, to Milenio TV, ensuring that the system in the face of natural crises has improved in recent decades.
At 9:00 p.m. Tuesday (03:00 GMT), Otis was about 55 miles south-southeast of Acapulco and had maximum sustained winds of 257 km/h, added the NHC, based in Miami. In Guerrero, authorities prepared shelters for the storm and the national guard said it was helping prepare rescues and evacuations.
The Defense Department has launched a disaster plan ahead of the storm’s arrival, President Andrés Manuel López Obrador said on social media on Tuesday, as soldiers patrolled the deserted beaches of Acapulco. Due to the arrival of Otis, Guerrero Governor Evelyn Salgado canceled the class for Wednesday.