Death toll in Mexico from devastating Hurricane Otis rises to 39 By Reuters
© Reuters. A view shows a damaged building, in the aftermath of Hurricane Otis, in Acapulco, Mexico, October 27, 2023. REUTERS/Quetzalli Nicte-Ha
MEXICO CITY (Reuters) -The death toll from Hurricane Otis, a Category 5 storm which unleashed devastation in the Mexican Pacific resort city of Acapulco earlier this week, has risen to 39, according to the latest government figures on Saturday.
Otis pounded Acapulco with winds of 165 miles per hour (266 km per hour) early on Wednesday, flooding the city, tearing roofs from homes, stores and hotels, submerging vehicles, and severing communications as well as road and air connections.
The government, which has so far released little information about dead and injured, had previously reported 27 people had died and that four others were missing due to Otis.
Security Minister Rosa Icela Rodriguez said that 10 people are currently unaccounted for.
Looting has ravaged Acapulco since the record-breaking storm left thousands of residents struggling to get food and water.
Many people have complained that government aid to Acapulco has been insufficient, and some officials have privately expressed concern that the number of fatalities could rise.
The revised death toll comprised 29 men and 10 women, according to an official statement citing figures from the government of Guerrero, the state where Acapulco is located.
It said more than 220,000 homes and 80% of the hotel sector have been affected, and over 513,000 people lost power.
The cost of devastation left by Otis has been estimated at billions of dollars, and over 8,000 armed forces members were sent to help the stricken port recover.
Mexican authorities said Otis was the most powerful storm ever to strike Mexico’s Pacific coast. It caught forecasters by surprise, gathering strength with unexpected speed before it came ashore, and surpassed initial predictions.