In a devastating turn of events, Hurricane Otis made a historic landfall near Acapulco, Mexico, as a Category 5 storm. The hurricane, which hit early on Wednesday, October 25, brought with it maximum sustained winds reaching up to 165 mph.
- Hurricane Otis is the strongest hurricane to ever make landfall on the Pacific side of Mexico.
- This is the first time an Eastern Pacific hurricane has made landfall at Category 5 intensity.
- The National Hurricane Center (NHC) has warned of catastrophic damage in areas where the hurricane’s core moved onshore.
- Residents of southern Mexico are advised to brace for potentially catastrophic storm surges, life-threatening coastal flooding, massive waves, and flooding rainfall.
- President Andres Manuel has urged citizens to move to shelters and stay away from danger zones like rivers and streams.
- Rainfall from Otis is expected to range between 8 and 16 inches, with some areas receiving up to 20 inches, leading to flash and urban flooding as well as mudslides in elevated areas.
A Nightmare Scenario
The NHC described the situation as a “nightmare scenario” for southern Mexico. The rapid intensification of Otis as it approached the coastline has made it an extremely serious situation, especially for the Acapulco metropolitan area. The core of this destructive hurricane was likely to come near or pass over the large city early on Wednesday. The NHC emphasized that there are no recorded hurricanes of this intensity for this part of Mexico.
Images from the scene showed people standing on the beach post the hurricane’s arrival alert in Acapulco. Authorities took measures to protect stores and other establishments from the impending storm. President Andres Manuel emphasized the importance of safety, urging citizens to move to shelters and stay in safe places, especially away from rivers, streams, and ravines.
The aftermath of Hurricane Otis is expected to be severe. The NHC predicts rainfall totals between 8 and 16 inches, with some areas receiving up to 20 inches. This heavy rainfall is likely to result in flash and urban flooding. Moreover, mudslides are anticipated in higher-terrain areas. Otis is expected to move in a north-northwest direction through Wednesday night and continue its path inland across southern Mexico until it dissipates.
Hurricane Otis’s historic landfall has put the residents of Acapulco and surrounding areas in a state of high alert. With its unprecedented intensity and the potential for widespread damage, authorities and residents are bracing for the aftermath. The situation underscores the unpredictable nature of weather events and the importance of preparedness and timely action.