The aftermath of Category 5 Hurricane Otis in Mexico has left a trail of devastation, with the death toll climbing to at least 48 people, while more than 30 individuals remain missing. Mexican authorities confirmed that Acapulco bore the brunt of the catastrophe, with 43 of the fatalities occurring in the resort city, and an additional five in nearby Coyuca de Benitez.
The disaster unfolded when Hurricane Otis, characterized by ferocious 165 mph (266 kph) winds, made landfall on the southern Pacific coast of Mexico, catching residents off guard due to its rapid intensification. The hurricane’s swift development left little time for preparation, and the region struggled to cope with its destructive force.
In Acapulco, where entire neighborhoods were hit by landslides and homes buried under tons of mud and rock, grieving families held funerals for their lost loved ones while continuing the search for essentials. For many, the situation remains dire, as the government’s response in tourist areas contrasts with the high mountainous neighborhoods affected by landslides.
Kathy Barrera, who lost family members in a landslide, expressed her frustration with the lack of aid in their neighborhood, stating, “There are many, many people here at the (morgue) that are entire families, families of six, families of four, even eight people. I want to ask authorities not to lie… there are a lot of people who are arriving dead.”
The recovery efforts have been hampered by the magnitude of the disaster and the rapid escalation of the hurricane. While some progress has been made in clearing debris and restoring power in Acapulco, many neighborhoods on the city’s periphery still lie in ruins.
Despite the challenging circumstances, Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador has faced criticism from opponents who accuse him of downplaying the disaster. He emphasized the need for transparency and reassured the public that aid and support would continue as the search for missing individuals continues.
The disaster has also impacted the livelihoods of individuals like Kristian Vera, who lost her boats in the storm but considers herself fortunate compared to others. As Acapulco faces the arduous task of rebuilding, the focus remains on locating those who are missing and providing support to the affected communities.
The tragic aftermath of Hurricane Otis serves as a stark reminder of the unpredictable nature of natural disasters and the importance of preparedness and swift response to mitigate their devastating impacts.
Sources By Agencies