ADVERTISEMENT
A view shows street stalls damaged by Hurricane Otis near the entrance to Acapulco, in the Mexican state of Guerrero, Mexico October 25, 2023. REUTERS/Henry Romero

Mexico City GP organisers pay tribute to hurricane Otis victims

A view shows street stalls damaged by Hurricane Otis near the entrance to Acapulco, in the Mexican state of Guerrero, Mexico October 25, 2023. REUTERS/Henry Romero

Mexico City Grand Prix organisers on behalf of Formula 1, have paid tribute to victims of Hurricane Otis that struck the country this week, leaving 27 dead as well as scores homeless and displaced, in the week leading up to the country’s Grand Prix.

The south of Mexico was hardest hit, with Acapulco, around 300km from Mexico City’s Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez, particularly hard hit by the hurricane.

The Mexico City GP organisers stated in a media release: “We deeply regret the recent events in Guerrero, Mexico, and stand in full solidarity with all those who have been affected by the devastating impact of Hurricane Otis on 25 October.

ADVERTISEMENT

“We are actively engaged in ongoing communication with local authorities and our partners to determine the most effective means of offering assistance to those who have endured both infrastructure damage and the loss of human lives.

“It is now, more than ever, a time for us to unite and demonstrate our unwavering solidarity during these challenging times,” concluded the statement.

Reuters reports that Hurricane Otis wreaked havoc on the beach resorts of Acapulco, claiming 27 lives, the Mexican government said, and leaving in its wake damage amounting to billions of dollars following one of the most forceful storms the country has experienced.

The Category 5 hurricane slammed Mexico on Wednesday, bringing a brutal onslaught of winds that peaked at 260 km/h and gusts that reached up to 315 km/h.

The storm caused widespread devastation across Acapulco, flooding thoroughfares, tearing roofs from residences and hotels, submerging vehicles, and severing communication, road, and air connections.

The Federal Electricity Commission said on Friday it had restored 50% of the electricity service in Guerrero, “despite the access and communication obstacles encountered by the state-owned company’s staff”.

In order to evacuate tourists, an air bridge between Acapulco and Mexico City will be set up on Friday, the Ministry of Infrastructure, Communications and Transport said, after announcing the control tower at Acapulco International Airport was back in operation.

Local residents flocked to gas stations hoping to find some gasoline to keep working or leave the city after Otis intensified unexpectedly rapidly off the Pacific coast.

Two vessels are en route to Acapulco carrying two water purification plants, a mobile kitchenette, four power plants, and two motor pumps, the Mexican Secretary of the Navy (Semar)also said.

Mexican authorities said Otis was the most powerful storm to strike Mexico’s Pacific coast, although Hurricane Patricia, which slammed into the resort of Puerto Vallarta eight years earlier, whipped up even higher wind speeds out at sea.

F1 is set to be met by cloudy skies over Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez starting with FP1 today, and is expected to remain overcast for most of the weekend thereafter.