Hurricane Otis makes landfall in Mexico

Hurricane Otis makes landfall in Mexico

The hurricane, which has a maximum strength of 5 on the Saffir-Simpson scale, will weaken “quickly” upon landfall, according to the US National Hurricane Center.

The National Hurricane Center said on Wednesday, October 25, that powerful Hurricane Otis, “which could be catastrophic,” made landfall Tuesday night into Wednesday near Acapulco, a popular seaside resort on the Pacific coast of western Mexico.

“Satellite images indicate that Otis made landfall near Acapulco at approximately 06:25 GMT,” the National Hurricane Center said, indicating winds of up to 270 kilometers per hour.

The National Hurricane Center said that the hurricane, which has a maximum strength of 5 on the Saffir-Simpson scale, will weaken “quickly” when it makes landfall.

Schools are closed

“Take cover, stay in safe places: away from rivers, streams and valleys and be vigilant,” Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador warned on X (formerly Twitter). Schools were closed by order of the local government in Guerrero state, where Acapulco is located.

On October 9, 1997, Acapulco was hit by Hurricane Paulina, which made landfall as a Category 4 hurricane. Paulina killed more than 200 people and was one of Mexico’s most serious natural disasters outside of the earthquake.

Last week, Hurricane Norma killed three people a little further north in Sinaloa state. Norma made landfall twice, first on the Baja California peninsula, then in the state of Sinaloa.

A country prone to hurricanes

Mexico is located between the Pacific Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico, and is vulnerable to hurricanes during the season, which extends from May to October and November. Dozens of depressions per year are likely to become more or less destructive hurricanes depending on their entry point.

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The strongest hurricane ever recorded, Patricia, in October 2015, with winds of 325 km/h, only caused material damage because it entered the region through uninhabited mountainous terrain.

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