The hurricane had weakened to a Cat-2 and was moving inland by Wednesday afternoon. The storm is now around 100 miles northwest of Acapulco.
It is expected lose even more power as it hits Guerrero state’s steep mountains, before dissipating on Wednesday night.
The Mexican government discontinued a hurricane warning for Acapulco but issued a tropical storm warning for Punta Maldonado, around 100 miles to the south.
Heavy rain from Otis will continue to impact areas of southwest Mexico across Guerrero and Oaxaca states, and may also cause “life-threatening coastal flooding” through Thursday, NHC said.
The Mexican army and navy deployed more than 8,000 troops to Guerrero, an impoverished state plagued by violence linked to organized crime, with specialised equipment to aid in rescues.
Otis strengthened from a tropical storm into a major hurricane in the span of 12 hours on Tuesday before it hit Mexico’s south Pacific coast at around 12.25am local time with sustained winds of 165 mph, the National Hurricane Center said.
Forecasters warned that the powerful storm was a “nightmare scenario” for Acapulco, a faded resort town which is home to nearly 1 million people.
The city’s mayor said Otis may be “more devastating” than Hurricane Pauline, which hit Acapulco in 1997, killing more than 200 people and injuring hundreds of others.
Winds howled through hotels and a hospital in Acapulco as citizens tried to take cover. Video footage from the scence showed palm trees stripped of their leaves and a shopping center badly damaged. Half a million people were left without power.
With reporting from The Associated Press
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