Home Headlines Hurricane Otis ranks as 5th highest in the world

Hurricane Otis ranks as 5th highest in the world

by Yucatan Times
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ACAPULCO, Mexico – The world’s fifth-highest wind gust on land was clocked at 205 mph as Hurricane Otis battered Mexico last month, researchers discovered.

Otis struck the country’s southern Pacific coast near Acapulco on Oct. 25 at 1:25 a.m. CDT. It was classified as a Category 5 hurricane with sustained winds of 165 mph, making it the strongest hurricane on record to make landfall on the Pacific side of Mexico, according to the National Hurricane Center (NHC).

Following the storm, the National Tidal Service of the National Autonomous University of Mexico said it sent two technicians to Acapulco to recover hurricane data from its two monitoring stations in the city.

“Considering the trajectory and size of Otis, it was of utmost importance to recover the information, which was practically the record of the center of the hurricane,” the agency said.

The record-breaking burst of wind was recorded at 12:40 a.m., according to the agency, which puts Otis very close to the Eastern Pacific record set by Hurricane Patricia off the coast of Mexico in October 2015. Patrica’s peak intensity over the ocean was estimated at 185 knots (213 mph), according to the NHC.

The world’s highest wind gust on land of 253 mph was recorded in April 1996 at Barrow Island, Australia, during Tropical Cyclone Oliva.

“Engineer Miriam and the Physicist Valente, who traveled at dawn, slept little or nothing and were able to recover the data, raise the transmission of the stations again, and put together a photographic collection of the effects in Acapulco,” the agency said.

The devastating winds from Otis resulted in extensive destruction, causing damage to 80% of Acapulco’s hotels, according to government officials. The storm was followed by power and internet outages, as well as citywide looting. Severe damage also shuttered commercial and military airports of Acapulco.

As of last check, the death toll has risen to at least 46 people, with nearly 60 people still missing, the Mexican government said.

Days following landfall, rescue crews were unable to reach the city to provide aid due to mudslides in mountainous terrain. The deployed 10,000 troops lacked the necessary tools to clear the roads obstructed by mud and fallen trees, the Associated Press reported.

According to the NHC, Otis’ peak intensification rate was 110 mph in 24 hours, the second-highest recorded rate in the Western Hemisphere, behind only Patricia in October 2015.

In the photo below, the National Tidal Service provided a before-and-after comparison of its weather station located in Acapulco Bay. The weather station was the only structure that remained standing after the storm, as the entire perimeter fence had been destroyed.

TYT Newsroom

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