July 14, 2024

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Category 4 Hurricane Otis is spreading over the southern coast of Mexico

Category 4 Hurricane Otis is spreading over the southern coast of Mexico

ACAPULCO, Mexico (Reuters) – Hurricane Otis made landfall on Mexico’s southern coast on Wednesday with damaging winds from a Category 4 hurricane and spread inland over Acapulco’s beach resorts, the U.S. National Hurricane Center said.

The National Hurricane Center’s latest report said the hurricane, which was downgraded to a Category 5 category earlier in the day, made landfall near Acapulco and was moving toward southern Mexico, bringing heavy rain and flash flooding with hurricane-force winds.

The storm could bring up to 20 inches (51 cm) of rain to parts of Guerrero and Oaxaca states, with the potential for flash flooding and mudslides, “potentially catastrophic” storm surge, “life-threatening” surf and rip current conditions. The authorities said.

Mexico’s national water agency CONAGUA warned of waves rising from six to eight meters off Guerrero – home to Acapulco – and parts of Oaxaca.

The Miami-based National Hurricane Center added that Otis is located about 25 miles northwest of Acapulco and has maximum sustained winds of 130 mph (215 kph).

In Guerrero, authorities are preparing storm shelters, and the National Guard said it is helping prepare for rescue and evacuations.

Mexico’s National Civil Protection Coordination (CNPC) said power outages were reported throughout Guerrero due to the hurricane.

The Defense Ministry had drawn up a disaster plan before the storm arrived, President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said on social media late Tuesday evening, as soldiers patrolled the empty beaches of Acapulco.

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Schools across Guerrero canceled classes for Wednesday ahead of Otis’ arrival, Gov. Evelyn Salgado said on social media.

(Reporting by Javier Verdin in Acapulco and Brendan O’Boyle in Mexico City; Preparing by Mohammed for the Arabic Bulletin) Writing by Brendan O’Boyle and Natalia Siniawski. Edited by Robert Bircell, Bernadette Baum, and Jan Harvey

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