Hurricane Otis update
Otis strengthened from a tropical storm to an extremely dangerous Category 5 hurricane in just 12 hours before it slammed ashore as the strongest storm on record to hit this area and the Pacific coast of Mexico.
The sudden burst of power took many by surprise as Otis bore down on Acapulco, a popular tourist destination that’s also home to roughly 800,000 people.
— Schweiker Cody (@SchweikerC1191) October 25, 2023
Hurricane Otis knocked out all communications and unleashed a “nightmare scenario” in Acapulco in southern Mexico on Wednesday morning.Tracking over the incredibly warm ocean water near the coast, the storm rapidly intensified just before landfall and gave officials and residents little time to prepare.
Otis’ center slammed into Mexico’s coast near Acapulco at around 12:25 a.m. local time with sustained winds of 165 mph, the National Hurricane Center said. The much weaker storm is now headed inland and is expected to dissipate over southern Mexico by Wednesday night, the center said.
The storm’s full scope of devastation is not yet clear.
Mexico’s President Andrés Manuel López Obrador said Wednesday morning his government had no reports of casualties, but all communication systems in the area are down, including with emergency crews on the ground. López Obrador said they had reports of material damage and roads blocked by landslides.
Otis was the strongest hurricane on record to strike the Pacific coast of Mexico and intensified at one of the fastest rates yet observed in the western hemisphere.
A devastating storm surge likely took take place along and to the east of the center of the storm as it makes landfall, pushing water inland.
The blue color of Acapulco's beach turned brown, a tragedy.#Mexico – Aftermath of #Category5 #Hurricane #Otis in Acapulco, #Guerrero.#HuracanOtis #Otis #Acapulco #AcapulcoOtis #Otishurricane pic.twitter.com/ikVRJbLdN2
— know the Unknown (@imurpartha) October 25, 2023
Only the most well-constructed buildings may withstand Category 5 winds, and on its current track, the core of the storm struck an urban area of about 1 million people.
What we’re watching: Widespread flooding and mudslides are expected as the storm dumps upwards of 15 inches of rain on the southern state of Guerrero. Eventually, the storm could bring added moisture threats to the U.S.
Hurricane Otis is expected to rapidly weaken after landfall due to the higher terrain of Mexico, according to the NHC.
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