Mexico braces for Category 5 hurricane, risks ‘catastrophic’ damage

Mexico braces for Category 5 hurricane, risks ‘catastrophic’ damage

ACAPULCO, Mexico, Oct 25 (Reuters) – Mexico’s southern coast strengthened to Hurricane Otis on Wednesday, as the Category 5 storm made landfall near Acapulco’s beach resorts with the potential to cause “catastrophic damage”. ) said.

The hurricane made landfall near Acapulco with maximum sustained winds of 165 mph (270 kmh) and heavy rain, the center said.

The storm could bring up to 20 inches (51 cm) of rain to parts of Guerrero and Oaxaca, flash flooding and mudslides, “potentially catastrophic” storm surge and “life-threatening” surf and current conditions, officials said.

Mexico’s national water agency, CONAGUA, warned that surf could reach six to eight meters off Guerrero state, home to Acapulco and parts of Oaxaca state.

As of 9 p.m. Tuesday (0300 GMT), Otis was 55 miles south-southeast of Acapulco and had maximum sustained winds of 160 mph (257 kph), the Miami-based NHC added.

In Guerrero, officials were preparing storm shelters and said the National Guard was helping prepare for rescues and evacuations.

The Defense Ministry enacted a disaster plan ahead of the storm’s arrival, President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said on social media late Tuesday, as soldiers patrolled Acapulco’s deserted beaches.

Governor Evelyn Salgado said on social media that schools across Guerrero canceled classes Wednesday in anticipation of Otis’ arrival.

Reporting by Javier Verdin in Acapulco and Brendan O’Boyle in Mexico City; By Brendan O’Boyle; Editing by Robert Birzel and Bernadette Baum

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