Hurricane Otis hit the western coast of Mexico on Tuesday (24) with winds of up to 270 km/h and heavy rain.
The hurricane rapidly intensified, transforming from a tropical storm into a Category 5 hurricane in 12 hours and then downgrading to a Category 4 by Wednesday morning.
“We are on high alert,” Acapulco Mayor Abelina Lopez said Tuesday night, urging residents to take shelter in their homes or move to shelters spread across the city.
Mexico’s national water agency, Conagua, warned of waves between six and eight meters high in Guerrero state, where Acapulco is located, as well as in parts of Oaxaca state.
As of the last update of this report, no deaths or injuries have been reported in the area.
Guerrero schools canceled classes on Wednesday ahead of Otis’ arrival, Guerrero Gov. Evelyn Salgado said on social media.
According to the country’s president, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, Otis could be more devastating than Hurricane Pauline that struck Acapulco in 1997, devastating areas of the city and killing more than 200 people.
Acapulco is a city of over one million people located at the bottom of steep mountains. Luxury homes and a few slums also cover the foothills of the city.
Guerrero is one of the poorest and most violent states in Mexico.
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