Breaking News
Get 40% Off 0
👀 Reveal Warren Buffett's stock picks that are beating the S&P 500 by +174.3% Get 40% Off

Mexico's Acapulco ravaged by looting after Hurricane Otis

Published Oct 27, 2023 08:03AM ET Updated Oct 28, 2023 01:02PM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This article has already been saved in your Saved Items
 
5/5 © Reuters. Satellite view shows Arena GNP Seguros in the aftermath of Hurricane Otis, in Acapulco, Mexico October 26, 2023. Maxar Technologies/Handout via REUTERS 2/5

By Alexandre Meneghini and Josue Decavele

ACAPULCO, Mexico (Reuters) -Looting ravaged the Mexican city of Acapulco after the iconic beach resort was hammered this week by Hurricane Otis, a record-breaking storm that killed at least 27 people and left thousands of residents struggling to get food and water.

Otis pounded Acapulco with winds of 165 miles per hour (266 km per hour) early on Wednesday, flooding the city, tearing roofs from homes, stores and hotels, submerging vehicles, and severing communications as well as road and air connections.

The cost of devastation left by the Category 5 storm was estimated at billions of dollars, and over 8,000 armed forces members were sent to help the stricken port recover.

"Right now, money's no use to us because there's nothing to buy, everything's been looted," 57-year-old Acapulco resident Rodolfo Villagomez said after Otis tore through the city. "It was total chaos. You could hear it here hissing like a bull."

On Thursday evening, people carried off goods including food, water and toilet paper from stores. "We came to get food, because we don't have any," a woman told Reuters.

Reuters video showed people carrying boxes from a wrecked supermarket and loading up cars. Inside, shelves were bare.

"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.

Elsewhere, household detritus was littered among ruined deck chairs and jumbles of mangled trees outside wrecked homes.

Speaking at a regular press conference, Lopez Obrador said the government would help people in the city of nearly 900,000 in the southern state of Guerrero, one of Mexico's poorest.

But many residents said the aid was insufficient.

"All the stores are closed or destroyed," said Raul Busto Ramirez, 76, an engineer who works at Acapulco's airport. He blamed looting on shortages and said ATM machines were out of action, leaving people with no cash.

The government has released little information about dead and injured, saying only that four people are also missing. Some officials privately express concern the death toll will rise.

Letitia Murphy said she began to worry when she lost contact with her ex-husband and father of her two children, 59-year-old Briton Neil Marshall, who was in Acapulco when Otis hit.

Murphy said she found out on social media he had died after residents discovered his body close to where he was staying.

"We can't even get information about him," she told Reuters by phone. "It's horrible that we don't know what to do."

The Mexican and British governments did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Another weather front that could produce more heavy rain is expected to gain strength off Central America in the coming days, again moving toward southern Mexico.

'WE WERE LUCKY'

Mexican authorities said Otis was the most powerful storm ever to strike Mexico's Pacific coast. It caught forecasters by surprise, gathering strength with unexpected speed before it came ashore, and surpassed initial predictions.

Still, Lopez Obrador said: "We were lucky."

"Nature, the creator protected us, even with the fury of the hurricane," he added. "There's a lot of material damage but luckily we're not registering too many deaths."

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

The government has yet to estimate the cost of Otis, but Enki Research, which tracks tropical storms and models the cost of their damage, saw it likely "approaching $15 billion." Lopez Obrador urged insurance companies to speed up payouts.

Governments sent messages of solidarity to Mexico, and Pope Francis expressed his condolences on Friday.

U.S. President Joe Biden expressed his condolences for the hurricane's victims in a brief statement on Friday evening, pledging "full support" to Mexico's government as well as help ensuring U.S. citizens in the area are safe.

State power utility CFE said on Friday it had restored 50% of the electricity service in Guerrero and Mexican telecommunications company America Movil (NYSE:AMX) had re-established nearly 60% of cell service.

Jeff, a 65-year-old Canadian in Acapulco, said he was stuck in the city and worried how he would survive the coming days because "all the stores have been pillaged."

"The disaster here is unbelievable," he said. "We don't see nothing happening except people trying to scavenge everything they can to survive for the next couple of weeks or months."

Mexico's Acapulco ravaged by looting after Hurricane Otis
 

Related Articles

Add a Comment

Comment Guidelines

We encourage you to use comments to engage with other users, share your perspective and ask questions of authors and each other. However, in order to maintain the high level of discourse we’ve all come to value and expect, please keep the following criteria in mind:  

  •            Enrich the conversation, don’t trash it.

  •           Stay focused and on track. Only post material that’s relevant to the topic being discussed. 

  •           Be respectful. Even negative opinions can be framed positively and diplomatically. Avoid profanity, slander or personal attacks directed at an author or another user. Racism, sexism and other forms of discrimination will not be tolerated.

  • Use standard writing style. Include punctuation and upper and lower cases. Comments that are written in all caps and contain excessive use of symbols will be removed.
  • NOTE: Spam and/or promotional messages and comments containing links will be removed. Phone numbers, email addresses, links to personal or business websites, Skype/Telegram/WhatsApp etc. addresses (including links to groups) will also be removed; self-promotional material or business-related solicitations or PR (ie, contact me for signals/advice etc.), and/or any other comment that contains personal contact specifcs or advertising will be removed as well. In addition, any of the above-mentioned violations may result in suspension of your account.
  • Doxxing. We do not allow any sharing of private or personal contact or other information about any individual or organization. This will result in immediate suspension of the commentor and his or her account.
  • Don’t monopolize the conversation. We appreciate passion and conviction, but we also strongly believe in giving everyone a chance to air their point of view. Therefore, in addition to civil interaction, we expect commenters to offer their opinions succinctly and thoughtfully, but not so repeatedly that others are annoyed or offended. If we receive complaints about individuals who take over a thread or forum, we reserve the right to ban them from the site, without recourse.
  • Only English comments will be allowed.
  • Any comment you publish, together with your investing.com profile, will be public on investing.com and may be indexed and available through third party search engines, such as Google.

Perpetrators of spam or abuse will be deleted from the site and prohibited from future registration at Investing.com’s discretion.

Write your thoughts here
 
Are you sure you want to delete this chart?
 
Post
Post also to:
 
Replace the attached chart with a new chart ?
1000
Your ability to comment is currently suspended due to negative user reports. Your status will be reviewed by our moderators.
Please wait a minute before you try to comment again.
Thanks for your comment. Please note that all comments are pending until approved by our moderators. It may therefore take some time before it appears on our website.
Comments (1)
Charles Manson
Charles Manson Oct 28, 2023 9:38AM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
"Having a Great Time. wish you were here". Right.
 
Are you sure you want to delete this chart?
 
Post
 
Replace the attached chart with a new chart ?
1000
Your ability to comment is currently suspended due to negative user reports. Your status will be reviewed by our moderators.
Please wait a minute before you try to comment again.
Add Chart to Comment
Confirm Block

Are you sure you want to block %USER_NAME%?

By doing so, you and %USER_NAME% will not be able to see any of each other's Investing.com's posts.

%USER_NAME% was successfully added to your Block List

Since you’ve just unblocked this person, you must wait 48 hours before renewing the block.

Report this comment

I feel that this comment is:

Comment flagged

Thank You!

Your report has been sent to our moderators for review
Continue with Google
or
Sign up with Email