An American, a Canadian and a Briton were among the victims of Hurricane Otis, which devastated Acapulco on the Pacific coast in western Mexico, officials announced Monday, October 30. Three strangers “Residents, they are not tourists in the port of Acapulco”Guerrero Province Governor Evelyn Salgado said during the President’s daily press conference.
On Sunday, the Mexican Foreign Ministry announced that 263 foreigners, including thirty-four Americans, eighteen French and seventeen Cubans, were in port at the time of the typhoon on Wednesday October 25. This latest report contradicts the central government’s announcement on Sunday, October 29, that forty-eight people had died and six were missing.
President Andrés Manuel López Obrador questioned the discrepancy. “handling” He accused most of the Mexican media of being under orders from his political opponents to discredit him. “They were like vultures seeking the dead”he said. “Let’s get Acapulco back on its feet”He promised in detail about the relief work.
According to media reports, the Mexican president flew over the disaster zone on Sunday to speak with those in charge of relief operations. The casualty count was slow, with power and telecommunications outages as the storm passed, gradually restored over the weekend.
Wind speed of 270 kilometers per hour
From a simple tropical storm, Otis strengthened to a maximum strength 5 hurricane six hours off the Pacific coast of Mexico. It packed winds of 270 kilometers per hour, destroying the coastal resort, which has about 780,000 people and lives mainly from tourism. The cyclone then weakened as it moved inland. But heavy rains persisted in the country’s poorest states, Guerrero and Oaxaca.
The speed with which the typhoon formed did not give residents time to protect their homes or stockpile water and food.
The central government estimated that more than 273,000 houses and hundreds of hotels suffered more or less severe damage. Also, twelve highways and roads were blocked. “We are making progress in the effective distribution of humanitarian aid”was assured Evelyn SalgadoGovernor of the state of Guerrero on X (formerly Twitter).
After the airport was re-opened and road traffic resumed, aid from the government and NGOs began to be distributed on Friday afternoon.
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According to Enki Research, a consulting firm specializing in natural phenomena, the cost of damage caused by Otis is about $15 billion (€14.2 billion).
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