It’s one thing to have a Category 5 hurricane make landfall somewhere when you’re expecting it or expecting a strong hurricane, but to have it happen when you’re not expecting anything to happen is truly a nightmare.University of Miami hurricane researcher, Brian McNoldy, describing the swiftness of Hurricane Otis’ development as it hit Mexico’s southern Pacific coast on Wednesday. It is one of the strongest storms to ever hit the region.
Why It Matters: Hurricane Otis caused massive flooding in Acapulco, Mexico, a resort city with nearly one million people; at least 27 people have been killed and four others are missing, Mexican authorities said Thursday. The impact of the storm is still being measured as authorities work to “restore electricity and reactivate drinking water pumps in Acapulco,” Reuters reports. The “rapid intensification” of the storm came unexpectedly, according to atmospheric scientist Tomer Burg, as it went from a tropical storm (39-74 mph winds) to a Category 5 hurricane (with more than 157mph winds) in only 24 hours. Early assessments of the damage indicate “extensive devastation” (The Associated Press).
Why Hurricane Otis Caught Many By Surprise (The New York Times)
by Emily Hooker, based in Texas