Acapulco’s Post-Hurricane Struggle Raises Concerns for Local Livelihoods

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A month post-Hurricane Otis, Acapulco, the gorgeous Mexican beach spot, grapples with the aftermath, causing uncertainty for the local economy and the crucial December tourist season.

The devastating impact of Hurricane Otis, the fiercest storm to hit Mexico’s Pacific coast, ravaged Acapulco on October 25, claiming numerous lives, causing extensive damage worth billions of dollars, and triggering widespread looting. 

Although the official death toll stands at 50, residents fear the number could be significantly higher, with unconfirmed reports suggesting fatalities exceeding 300.

President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador initiated a $3.4 billion recovery plan to expedite Acapulco’s revival. 

However, local businesses express growing concerns over the sluggish pace of restoration efforts, with time running out to salvage the crucial December tourist season, considered the lifeline of the city’s economy.

Hurricane Otis Disrupts Acapulco’s Airport

acapulco's-post-hurricane-struggle-raises-concerns-for-local-livelihoods
A month post-Hurricane Otis, Acapulco, the gorgeous Mexican beach spot, grapples with the aftermath, causing uncertainty for the local economy and the crucial December tourist season.

Jesus Zamora, head of infrastructure for a local tourism body, lamented the grim reality, stating that by December, barely 50% of hotels will be operational, significantly hindering their ability to accommodate tourists. 

Estimates by business groups project a staggering $16 billion in damages incurred by Acapulco, a major city in Guerrero, one of Mexico’s most impoverished states.

The hurricane wreaked havoc on Acapulco’s airport, halting international flights until the following year, while the recovery timeline remains uncertain, leaving some fearing a full recovery might not materialize until 2025. 

Roberto Buenfil, associated with event organization, highlighted the plight of those reliant on social events and conventions, emphasizing the significant disruptions and job losses.

Amidst the ongoing struggles, security forces continue efforts to clear the debris that blankets parts of the city, having collected approximately 221,000 tons of trash thus far. 

The road to Acapulco’s recovery remains arduous, with the repercussions of Hurricane Otis posing formidable challenges to the city’s economic resurgence and prospects for the imminent tourist season.

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