Deadly Hurricane Otis Slams Acapulco, Mexico

Deadly Hurricane Otis Slams Acapulco, Mexico
Image copyright: Oscar Guerrero Ramirez/Getty Images News via Getty Images

The Facts

  • On Wednesday morning (local time), Hurricane Otis made landfall along Mexico’s southern Pacific coast as a catastrophic Category 5 cyclone. It quickly lost strength and was downgraded to a Category 2 storm but not before causing severe damage in Acapulco, a popular tourist destination.

  • According to Mexico’s President Andrés Manuel López Obrador's Office, at least 27 people have died and many others have been reported missing in the wake of Hurricane Otis. The President’s office also said that the weather conditions and the conditions of the roadways have prevented a full damage assessment.

The Spin

Narrative A

Hurricane Otis is proof that more funding is needed for hurricane prediction. The number of storms that undergo rapid intensification has grown beyond current forecasting models and software. Increased funding will support computers with a greater capacity to collect, store, and analyze data to further the science. While we can't control what a storm does after it has formed, we can control the data we gather to aid in the development of better warning systems. Nature has overshot our current weather prediction technology.

Narrative B

Hurricane Otis dealt an unpredictable and devastating blow to the communities on the Mexican coastline. However, what is predictable and preventable is the devastating toll that recovery will take on the residents of the area. Instead of preparing for a disaster like this, Mexico’s President spent two years dismantling the country’s Natural Disaster Fund. Two years later, his ill-advised decision will further devastate residents as they try to recover from a catastrophic disaster. The lack of preparation was mostly a failure of process and governance.

Metaculus Prediction

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