Riviera Maya, Q.R. — Donations from residents of Quintana Roo have begun pouring in for victims of Hurricane Otis in Acapulco. The tourist city was devastated Wednesday after Category 5 Otis made landfall.
More than 80 percent of the city’s tourist area was destroyed by the 266 kilometer per hour winds (165 mph) that ripped through the city.
“What Acapulco suffered was really disastrous,” President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said in a Mexico City press conference afterward. On Thursday, he reported 27 deaths and four military personnel missing.
Those figures have since risen to 30 dead and three missing. Once of the deceased is that of one of the four missing military men.
Otis made landfall in the early hours of Wednesday as a Category 5 hurricane. The names of the deceased are expected to be released shortly according to the Governor of Guerrero, Evelyn Salgado Pineda and the Mayor of Acapulco, Abelina López Rodríguez.
After the hurricane, Lopez Obrador toured Acapulco. He announced that he will meet with hotel owners to rehabilitate the sector as well as set up housing construction and an improvement program for those affected.
After his tour he reported all communication had been downed and that “not a pole was left standing” referring to the Federal Electricity Commission (CFE).
A preliminary assessment for damage carried out by the Governor and President of the Association of Hotels and Tourist Companies of Acapulco, Alejandro Domínguez, found more than 80 percent of the city’s tourist areas destroyed.
Governor Salgado Pineda referred to the hurricane as “atypical and totally devastating phenomenon.”
The evacuation of tourists will begin after authorities are able to clear the airport for emergency flights. López Obrador says Aeroméxico, Viva Aerobus and Volaris will provide tourist flights out of Acapulco.
The Secretary of Infrastructure, Communications and Transportation, Jorge Nuño Lara reported that the Acapulco airport is closed due to infrastructure damage and that there is no date for regular operations to resume.
Non-persishable collection centers around the state of Quintana Roo began, which will be integrated into the humanitarian aid that Quintana Roo will send, reported Governor Mara Lezama.
More than 900,000 people in Acapulco alone were affected by Hurricane Otis. Electricity restoration began Wednesday and by Thursday evening, was restored in some central city areas. More than 1,400 CFE personnel continue to make repairs to destroyed poles and downed towers, the federal agency reported in a statement.
Within 12 hours of developing into a tropical storm, Otis gained Category 5 hurricane strength, making landfall in central Acapulco early Wednesday morning. Rosa Icela Rodríguez, the Secretary of Security and Citizen Protection, says winds went from 64 kms/h to 270 kms/h in less than 12 hours.
“The international forecast models did not initially foresee that the hurricane would evolve as it did, much less that it would affect the Port of Acapulco,” López Obrador said.