An aerial view of the Plaza Manzanillo yacht club affected by Hurricane Otis in Acapulco, Mexico (Picture: EPA)
At least 39 people have died in Mexico after Category Five Hurricane Otis hit the Guerrero state earlier this week, authorities have confirmed.
Hundreds of families have been awaiting word on loved ones as more bodies are being unburied from the knee-deep mud in the resort city of Acapulco, where the tropical storm left a path of destruction.
Otis struck the country’s southern Pacific coast in the early hours ofWednesday, with winds reaching 165mph.
Mexico’s security secretary Rosa Icela Rodriguez said in a recorded video message with president Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador that the cause of death for the 39 was ‘suffocation by submersion’.
Rescuers carry a dead body retrieved from the sea in the aftermath of Hurricane Otis (Picture: Reuters)
An aerial view of the Plaza Manzanillo yacht club affected by the tropical storm (Picture: EPA)
But she added that investigations continue and that the victims had not yet been identified.
Ms Rodriguez said 29 men and 10 women were dead, while the number of those missing has increased to 10.
Acapulco was among the areas worst hit in Mexico, with 80% of the resort’s hotels damaged and streets flooded.
‘Acapulco is undone,’ resident David Campos told Noticias Telemundo.
Yasmin Toledo, 70, poses for a photo in front of her destroyed house (Picture: Reuters)
People look over an area affected by the passage of Hurricane Otis in Acapulco (Picture: EPA)
Aid has been slow to arrive and residents – many of whom have lost their homes and all their posessions – are starting to lack some of the most basic resources.
Petrol station queues wrapped around the block for whatever gas there was in the tanks.
Videos also show people raiding shops for food and water, while others walk away with expensive electronic items and clothes from shopping centres.
Some 17,000 soldiers and police have been deployed to Acapulco because of the widespread looting.
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At least 10 people are missing.