In the aftermath of Hurricane Otis, Acapulco International Airport's control tower has been left in ruins.
🔴 Acapulco International Airport has temporarily suspended operations as it works to recover from the devastation. Mexico's Secretary of Infrastructure, Communications, and Transportation released images showing large piles of debris scattered around the airport.
Mexican Security Minister Rosa Isela Rodriguez provided updates during a news conference on Thursday. Officials and military personnel faced significant challenges reaching Acapulco due to the extensive damage.
The images and videos captured in the area are heartbreaking, showing buildings, including high-rises, torn apart. The storm surge and heavy rainfall have left roads underwater, with some people wading through several feet of murky water.
In the aftermath of the storm, there isn't a single electric pole standing in Acapulco. Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador reported that over 1,000 workers are diligently working to rebuild the power grid, aiming to restore water service in the area. As a result of the storm, more than 500,000 homes and businesses lost power. The power utility CF stated that they had restored service to 40% of those affected.
Acapulco, a popular tourist destination, saw nearly 80% of its hotels impacted by Otis, according to Guerrero Governor Evelyn Salgado. Her office is providing support to tourists, deploying 30 to 40 trucks to evacuate visitors to other areas free of charge.
The severity of the storm caught officials and residents by surprise, as early forecasts underestimated the threat. Otis rapidly intensified from a tropical storm to an extremely dangerous Category 5 hurricane, marking the area's strongest storm on record in just 12 hours. Once it moved inland, Otis weakened quickly and dissipated over the mountains of southern Mexico by Wednesday afternoon.
While the immediate threat has subsided, the region faces the ongoing impact of the storm. The heavy rains are expected to continue through Thursday, potentially causing flash flooding and mudslides, according to the National Hurricane Center.
Additionally, the ongoing El Niño event in the Pacific is driving ocean temperatures even higher. The recovery process is underway, but the path ahead remains challenging, with the scars of Hurricane Otis etched deep into Acapulco's landscape. Families continue to search for their loved ones, and the region remains in dire need of assistance.”