Hurricane Otis rips into Mexican beach resort with 165mph winds

The Category 5 hurricane has only strengthened as it hits one of Mexico's most impoverished states.

Hurricane Otis rips into Mexican beach resort with 165mph winds
Hurricane Otis has made landfall on Mexico's southern coast (Picture:Getty/ @TheHandiCat/X)
Hurricane Otis has made landfall on Mexico’s southern coast (Picture:Getty/ @TheHandiCat/X)

Hurricane Otis has slammed into Mexico’s southern coast bringing 165mph winds and heavy rain to Acapulco.

The hurricane was expected to weaken quickly in Guerrero state’s steep mountains, but heavy rainfall has raised the threat of landslides and floods.

It has also strengthened rapidly, going from a tropical storm to a Category 5 hurricane in 12 hours on Tuesday.

But it has since been downgraded to category 4.

Residents of Guerrero’s coast scrambled to prepare but the storm’s sudden intensity appeared to catch many off guard.

‘We’re on maximum alert,’ Acapulco Mayor Abelina Lopez said on Tuesday night as she urged residents to hunker down at home or move to the city’s shelters.

Otis could be more devastating than Hurricane Pauline that hit Acapulco in 1997, destroying swathes of the city and killing more than 200 people, Ms Lopez said. Hundreds of others were injured in flooding and mudslides.

Between the internationally known resorts of Acapulco and Zihuatanejo are two dozen small towns and villages perched between the mountains and the ocean.

Otis’s arrival came just days after Hurricane Norma struck the southern tip of Mexico’s Baja California Peninsula to the north.

Have you been affected by Hurricane Otis?

12669473 Hurricane Otis now a catastrophic Category 5 storm off Mexico's Pacific coast nearing Acapulco
Hurricane Otis has been raised catastrophic Category 5 storm
Members of the federal forces chat as they keep watch at a beach as Hurricane Otis barrels towards Acapulco, Mexico, October 24, 2023. REUTERS/Javier Verdin
Members of the federal forces chat as they keep watch at a beach as Hurricane Otis barrels towards Acapulco (Picture: Reuters)

Acapulco is a city of more than a million people at the foot of steep mountains. Luxury homes and slums alike cover the city’s hillsides with views of the glistening Pacific.

Guerrero is one of Mexico’s most impoverished and violent states.

On Monday, a local police chief and 12 officers were found massacred on a highway in El Papayo, which is in the Guerrero township of Coyuca de Benitez not far from Otis’s impact zone.

A man removes tables off a beach as Hurricane Otis barrels towards Acapulco, Mexico, October 24, 2023. REUTERS/Javier Verdin
A man removes tables off a beach as Hurricane Otis barrels towards Acapulco (Picture: Reuters)
Hurricane Otis makes landfall in Mexico as Category 5 storm Permission granted to use footage
The storm’s sudden intensity appeared to catch many off guard (Picture: @TheHandiCat/X)

In the Atlantic, Hurricane Tammy continued moving north-eastwards over open water with winds of 85mph (140kph) after sweeping through the Lesser Antilles over the weekend.

Tammy was located about 570 miles (915km) south-southeast of Bermuda.

The storm is expected to become a powerful extratropical cyclone by Thursday, according to the US National Hurricane Centre.

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