Hurricane Otis set to hit Mexico’s Acapulco as Category 5 storm

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ACAPULCO, Mexico -Hurricane Otis barreled toward the popular beach resort of Acapulco on Tuesday and was poised to make landfall on Mexico’s Pacific coast as an “extremely dangerous” Category 5 storm.

Otis was expected to come ashore on Wednesday morning, bringing high winds and heavy rain. It was already a Category 4 hurricane late on Tuesday afternoon, blowing maximum sustained winds of 145 mph (233 kph), the U.S. National Hurricane Center said.

By 6:00 p.m. local time (0000 GMT on Wednesday) Otis was about 85 miles south-southeast of Acapulco and would continue strengthening before making landfall, the Miami-based NHC added.

Once Otis comes ashore, it should weaken rapidly, it said.

Hurricane conditions were expected within 12-24 hours for the stretch of coastline between the beach towns of Zihuatanejo and Punta Maldonado in the state of Guerrero, which is home to Acapulco, the NHC said.

The storm could bring up to 15 inches (38 cm) of rain in parts of Guerrero and neighboring Oaxaca state, possibly causing flash flooding and mudslides, a “life-threatening” storm surge, and surf and rip current conditions, the center added.

Schools across Guerrero canceled classes for Wednesday ahead of Otis’ arrival, Governor Evelyn Salgado said on social media.

Over the weekend, Hurricane Norma left at least three dead as it passed along the northwest coast of Mexico. Days before, the powerful Hurricane Lidia left one person dead and several more injured after battering Mexico’s Pacific coast. REUTERS

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