The latest report from the Miami-based National Hurricane Center said Otis is about 10 kilometers south of the popular resort city of Acapulco with maximum sustained winds of 270 kilometers an hour, putting it on the highest rung of the center’s five-level scale that measures a storm’s maximum sustained wind speed and destructive potential.
The NHC has issued hurricane and tropical storm watches and warnings for much of Guerrero state, which is home to Acapulco, as well as neighboring Oaxaca state.
Forecasters predict the storm will dump as much as 20 to 40 centimeters of rain across Guerrero and the western coastal sections of Oaxaca, with maximum amounts of 50 centimeters, triggering flash flooding and mudslides in high areas.
Otis will also trigger a potentially catastrophic storm surge that will produce life-threatening coastal flooding, along with large and destructive waves.
Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador urged residents in Guerrero state to “move to shelters, stay in safe places: away from rivers, streams, ravines and be alert.”
The NHC says Otis will weaken as it moves inland over higher terrain during the day, then dissipate over southern Mexico Wednesday night.
Some information for this report came from The Associated Press.