In the face of a slow government response, survivors of the Category 5 storm that destroyed Mexico’s resort city of Acapulco and left at least 27 dead are growing increasingly desperate.
Survivours fear that rather than helping the most vulnerable, the focus will continue to be on repairing infrastructure for the city’s tourism industry.
Acapulco, a 1 million-person coastal city formerly renowned for its beachside glamour, remained in total chaos by the end of Thursday, despite the hopes of many residents for arriving aid.
Complete walls of towering beachfront buildings were completely torn off. There were still hundreds of thousands of homes without electricity. Individuals without access to even the most basic necessities were depleting stores of food and toilet paper, among other necessities.
Dozens of desperate tourists, tired of waiting for buses out of the city, walked along the narrow sidewalks through the long car tunnel under the mountain dividing the port from the rest of the city.
The Pacific storm had strengthened with shocking swiftness before slamming into the coast early Wednesday.
The Mexican government deployed around 10,000 troops to deal with the aftermath. But equipment to move tons of mud and fallen trees from the streets was slow in arriving.
President Andrés Manuel López Obrador said Otis had toppled every power-line pole in the zone where it hit on Wednesday, leaving much of the city of without electricity. Otis turned from mild to monster in record time, and scientists were struggling to figure out how — and why they didn’t see it coming.
Acapulco’s municipal water system was down and around half a million homes lost power.
Mr López Obrador said that restoring power was a top priority, but by Thursday evening there were still 250,000 homes and businesses with no electricity.
Acapulco is at the foot of steep mountains. Luxury homes and slums alike cover the hillsides with views of the glistening Pacific Ocean