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Hurricane Otis: Mexico assesses damage after storm – BBC News

By Vanessa Buschschlüter

Mexican officials are assessing the damage caused by Hurricane Otis, a powerful storm which made landfall on Mexico’s Pacific coast on Wednesday.

The resort of Acapulco is thought to have been one of the worst hit but with communications cut, little official information has emerged.

President Andrés Manuel López Obrador travelled to the city by land as local airports remain closed.

At one point, he had to walk as debris from mudslides blocked the highway.

The car the president was travelling in got stuck in the mud

“The army is bringing machinery and we’re going to try to reopen [the highway] as soon as possible,” the president said.

So far there are no reports of any deaths but officials have warned that with landlines and mobile phone coverage disrupted, they have not been able to get a clear picture of the situation.

Footage shot by tourists on their phones shows debris littering the streets of Acapulco and, buildings with shattered windows and roofs blown off.

Many areas were also flooded.

The ministry of defence said 8,000 soldiers had been deployed to Acapulco and towns along the coast to help with the clear up.

Hurricane Otis made landfall at 00:25 local time (06:25GMT) on Wednesday. It had intensified from a tropical storm into a category five hurricane – the most severe category – in just 12 hours.

It brought winds of 165 miles per hour (265km/h) to the coastal areas before easing in strength.

Citlali Portillo, who works in the tourism sector in Acapulco described to Televisa TV how “the building shook as if there was an earthquake”.

Videos showed guests sheltering in bathrooms and other areas without windows so they would not be injured by flying glass as windows were blown in by the wind.

David Hall, who was in Acapulco when the hurricane hit, took photos of flooded streets littered with uprooted palm trees

The facade of a shopping centre in Acapulco was ripped off.

More than 30% of the homes in the state of Guerrero lost power, plunging entire towns into darkness.

And while the strength of the wind subsided relatively quickly as Otis moved inland, Mexico’s meteorological service warned that torrential downpours were likely to drench Guerrero, while Michoacán, Mexico state, Morelos and Oaxaca should expect very heavy rain.

The US National Hurricane Center said that the rainfall could “produce flash and urban flooding, along with mudslides in areas of higher terrain”.

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