Looting breaks out in Mexico’s Acapulco after devastating Hurricane Otis

Looting breaks out in Mexico’s Acapulco after devastating Hurricane Otis
Looting breaks out in Mexico’s Acapulco after devastating Hurricane Otis

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Nevin Al Sukari - Sana'a - People leave with goods after looting a local supermarket in the aftermath of Hurricane Otis, near Acapulco October 26, 2023. — Reuters pic

ACAPULCO, Oct 27 — Looting broke out in the Mexican city of Acapulco after the popular beach resort was battered on Wednesday by record-breaking Hurricane Otis, which killed 27 people and left residents grappling with shortages of food and water.

The lethal Category 5 storm left damage in its wake estimated to be worth billions of dollars.

“There were acts of looting in some places because there was an emergency,” President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said on Friday, urging residents not to take advantage of the situation.

Speaking at a regular press conference, Lopez Obrador promised the government would help people in the stricken city in the southern state of Guerrero, one of Mexico’s poorest.

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“We came to get food, because we don’t have any,” a woman told Reuters as groups of people carried off goods from shops on Thursday night, including food, water, and toilet paper.

Otis pummelled Acapulco with winds of 165 miles per hour (266 km per hour) early on Wednesday, flooding thoroughfares, tearing roofs from residences and hotels, submerging vehicles, and severing communication, road, and air connections.

In addition to the 27 fatalities, four people are still missing, Mexican authorities said on Friday morning.

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State power utility CFE said today it had restored 50 per cent of the electricity service in Guerrero, despite access and communication obstacles encountered by workers.

To evacuate tourists, an air bridge between Acapulco and Mexico City was being set up on Friday after authorities got the control tower at the city’s airport back up and running.

Two vessels were en route to Acapulco carrying two water purification plants, a mobile kitchenette, four power plants, and two motor pumps, the government said.

Mexican authorities said Otis was the most powerful storm to strike Mexico’s Pacific coast, although Hurricane Patricia, which slammed into the resort of Puerto Vallarta eight years earlier, whipped up even higher wind speeds out at sea.

The storm caught forecasters by surprise, gathering strength with unexpected speed and exceeding their initial predictions — Reuters

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