On Wednesday, Oct. 25, Hurricane Otis made landfall near Acapulco, on Mexico’s southern Pacific coast, at 1:25 a.m. CDT as a Category 5 hurricane with sustained winds of 165 mph. According to the National Hurricane Center, Otis was the strongest hurricane in the Eastern Pacific to make landfall in the satellite era.
Current reports and images from Acapulco show severe and extensive damage to structures, including many of the hotels and high-rise buildings as well as downed trees, and severe flooding. Additionally, electricity and internet service is down for the city, and looting was reported. The number of dead and injured is still being counted.
Mudslides outside the city in mountainous terrain prevented crews from traveling to the city to provide aid, and according to the Associated Press, the 10,000 troops that were deployed to the area lacked the tools needed to clear mud and downed trees out of the roads. Acapulco’s commercial and military airports are still too badly damaged to resume flights.
According to NOAA’s National Hurricane Center, Otis’ peak intensification rate was 110 mph in 24 hours (ending at 11 p.m. EDT Tuesday), which is the second-highest such recorded rate in the Western Hemisphere, behind Hurricane Patricia off the Pacific coast of Mexico in 2015.