Hurricane Otis death toll hits 48

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Hurricane Eta

The death toll from Hurricane Otis in the Mexican state of Guerrero increased to 48 with 36 still missing, state governor Evelyn Salgado said Sunday.

Mexico’s civil defense agency said in a statement that 43 died in the resort city of Acapulco and five in nearby Coyuca de Benitez.

“It is still a preliminary figure,” the governor told President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador over the phone.

Otis, a category 5 storm, hit the Pacific coast of Guerrero on Wednesday, causing severe damage, especially in the seaside resort of Acapulco, one of Mexico’s main tourist destinations.

The storm intensified so rapidly, powering up from a tropical storm into a catastrophic Category 5 hurricane in just 12 hours, giving residents little time to prepare. It then lost strength over land and finally dissipated.

Lopez Obrador said that the state-owned Federal Electricity Commission had put 3,211 electric poles back up, out of the 10,000 that were knocked down in the port of Acapulco alone.

He estimated that the electricity supply in Acapulco will be completely restored by Monday night to guarantee the supply of fuels such as gasoline, diesel and domestic gas.

The World Meteorological Organization has described the hurricane as “one of the most rapidly intensifying tropical cyclones on record,” exceeded in modern times only by Hurricane Patricia in 2015.

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