Hurricane Otis batters Mexico’s Acapulco after hitting as Category 5 storm

Videos posted on social media show severely damaged homes and cars partly submerged in floodwaters

Hurricane Otis ploughed into the Mexican beach resort of Acapulco as a Category 5 storm on Wednesday, battering hotels and sending tourists running for cover as it pummelled the southern Pacific coast with torrential rain and fierce winds.

Videos posted on social media showed rooms wrecked by the passing of the storm, ceilings and walls rent open and cars partly submerged in floodwaters as the southern state of Guerrero awoke to the disarray left in Otis’ wake.

Footage from one hospital on social media showed nurses removing patients from their rooms to keep them safe from Otis, which strengthened unexpectedly fast at sea and barrelled into the coast with winds of 266km/h.

One of the strongest hurricanes ever to hit the region, Otis reached the shore at a Category 5 strength before quickly weakening to a Category 4 storm. Its power slackened further as it moved inland and it was a Category 1 by midmorning.


President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said there were no immediate reports of fatalities from the storm, but cautioned that authorities were struggling to get updates.

“The hurricane is still affecting the area and communications are completely down,” he told reporters at a regular government press conference.

Otis remained over the state of Guerrero and would continue to generate heavy rains in much of the region, Mexico’s national water agency Conagua said in a statement.

Mexico’s civil protection authorities reported power outages throughout Guerrero, while flights to and from Acapulco were suspended and classes cancelled due to Otis, which shook hotels, forcing tourists into refuges.

At about 9am local time (4pm Irish time), Otis was 160 km north-northwest of Acapulco, packing winds of 129km/h, the US National Hurricane Center said.

Otis could bring up to 51cm of rain to parts of Guerrero and Oaxaca states, mudslides, a “potentially catastrophic” storm surge, and life-threatening surf and rip current conditions, authorities said.

Conagua warned of 6m to 8m surf off Guerrero and parts of Oaxaca.

In Guerrero, authorities opened storm shelters, and the National Guard was ready for rescues and evacuations.

The defence ministry enacted a disaster plan ahead of the storm’s arrival, Mr Lopez Obrador said late on Tuesday, as soldiers patrolled Acapulco’s emptying beaches. – Reuters