Efforts to restore power in Acapulco are ongoing nearly a week after Hurricane Otis devastated the resort town along the Pacific Ocean in Mexico’s Guerrero state.
Hurricane Otis made landfall with Category 5 strength in the early hours of October 25, bringing with it heavy rainfall and maximum sustained wind speeds of about 165 mph. Hurricane Otis’ arrival in Acapulco surprised many weather experts due to its rapid acceleration from tropical storm into Category 5 hurricane.
Video footage captured when the storm arrived showed Acapulco plummeting into darkness as the storm shuttered power service throughout the city.
All of Acapulco’s power poles were knocked down in the storm, according to Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador. He said last week that more than 1,000 Federal Electricity Commission workers were sent to the area to begin restoration efforts.
On Monday afternoon, Guerrero Governor Evelyn Salgado said in a post on Facebook that 65 percent of the city’s electricity service—or 334,304 of the area’s 513,524 customers—was working again, with “titanic” efforts underway “to electrify all of Acapulco as soon as possible.”
López Obrador said during a Monday press briefing that he expects electricity will be restored to all of Acapulco either later Monday or on Tuesday.
The human impact of Hurricane Otis on Acapulco is still unclear. One day after the hurricane hit, government officials said at least 27 people had died in connection with the storm. That number jumped by Monday, with Salgado saying during López Obrador’s briefing that at least 45 deaths had been linked to Otis. However, the Associated Press reported, it was unclear if all of those deaths were in Acapulco or if the number included other hurricane-related deaths in the wider Guerrero state. Government officials had reported 48 deaths linked to the hurricane earlier this week, 43 of which were reported in Acapulco.
Several people are also still missing, with efforts just beginning to search boats that sunk in Acapulco Bay. At least 47 people were reported missing as of Monday, Salgado said.
Newsweek reached out to Salgado’s office by email on Monday for comment.
Salgado has said the government will support Acapulco through its recovery efforts. “Acapulco will rise, we will go ahead and stronger than ever,” she said last week.
Videos and photos taken during and after the storm have captured the damage inflicted on Acapulco, which had a government-estimated population of about 852,000 in 2020. One set of photos that spread on social media hours after Hurricane Otis made landfall showed a shopping mall with parts of its side and roof torn apart. Other before-and-after photos showed Acapulco Bay’s devastated marina and Arena GNP Seguros stadium surrounded by standing floodwater.