Thu. Jul 18th, 2024

Officials in Mexico say Hurricane Otis killed at least 27 people as it slammed into Acapulco, though it’s not yet known whether any Canadians are among the dead or injured.

Otis intensified into a Category 5 hurricane as it swept Mexico’s southern Pacific coast on Wednesday morning, flooding the resort city and cutting essential services like transportation, power, telecommunications, emergency services and medical care throughout the state of Guerrero.

According to Global Affairs Canada (GAC), there are 204 Canadians registered with the Registration of Canadians Abroad Service in Guerrero.

“However, this number provides only an estimate of Canadians as registration is voluntary,” GAC spokesperson Pierre Cuguen told in an email Thursday.

Cuguen said the agency has received 35 inquiries related to Hurricane Otis and is providing assistance, but did not share the nature of the inquiries. He did not indicate whether any Canadians are among those killed or injured when Otis made landfall in Acapulco.

The hurricane reached maximum sustained winds of 230 kilometres per hour before weakening to a Category 2 storm mid-morning on Wednesday, with winds decreasing to 17 km/h.

In its wake, Otis left behind significant property damage, flooded hotel rooms, downed trees and blocked roads. The Associated Press reports experts are calling it the strongest hurricane in history to make landfall along the Eastern Pacific Coast.

As of Wednesday night, the main highway into Acapulco was reportedly impassable, and some 500,000 households remained without power. A popular tourist destination, the city is also home to nearly one million people.

A travel advisory for the region warns Canadians to avoid non-essential travel there and instructs those currently in the region to shelter in place, monitor local news and weather reports and follow the lead of local authorities.

While the Consular Agency of Canada in Acapulco is temporarily closed due to the storm, Canadians in need of emergency consular assistance can contact the Embassy of Canada in Mexico City.

With files from Writer Melissa Lopez-Martinez and The Associated Press 

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