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Hurricane Otis causes 27 deaths, severe damage in Mexico

ACAPULCO: Hurricane Otis caused at least 27 deaths and major damage as it lashed Mexico’s resort city of Acapulco as a scale-topping category 5 storm, officials said on Thursday (Oct 26).

Otis crashed into Acapulco with furious winds of 270kmh, shattering windows, uprooting trees and largely cutting off communications and road links with the region.

The storm partially destroyed many buildings, leaving gaping holes in the walls of high-rise towers.

President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador arrived at the scene late Wednesday, after his convoy found roads blocked by landslides and other debris, forcing officials to walk part of the way.

Some residents slogged for hours through mud and debris in an attempt to find food and shelter.

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Jose Luis Flores, a 72-year-old visitor from San Diego in the United States, said his vacation had become a “tragedy”.

“We’re disoriented. We’ve had no communication with our children. We have no signal. We haven’t eaten anything,” he said.

Soldiers worked to clear the streets of mud and fallen trees.

Some residents were seen taking food, water and other goods from looted stores.

Hurricanes hit Mexico every year on both its Pacific and Atlantic coasts, usually between May and November, though few make landfall as a Category 5.

In October 1997, Hurricane Pauline hit Mexico’s Pacific coast as a Category 4 storm, leaving more than 200 people dead, some of them in Acapulco.

It was one of the deadliest hurricanes to batter Mexico.

In October 2015, Patricia became the most powerful hurricane ever recorded, pummeling Mexico’s Pacific coast with sustained winds of 200 miles per hour.

Scientists have warned that storms are becoming more powerful as the world gets warmer with climate change.

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