Hurricane Otis: Canadian reported among the dead after Mexico storm – National

A Canadian is reported to be among the dead in Mexico after Hurricane Otis ripped through the Pacific resort city of Acapulco last week.

A spokesperson with Global Affairs Canada said in an email to Global News on Tuesday that the Canadian government is aware of the reports of a fatality.

“Global Affairs Canada is aware of reports of the death of a Canadian citizen in Acapulco,” the spokesperson said.

“Consular officials are in contact with local authorities to obtain additional information. Due to privacy considerations, no further information can be disclosed.”

Click to play video: 'Hurricane Otis’ growth to Category 5 storm surprised forecasters. Why?'

Hurricane Otis’ growth to Category 5 storm surprised forecasters. Why?

The Associated Press reported Monday that Mexican officials said the Canadian was among three foreign residents killed when the Category 5 storm hit the resort city on Oct. 25. The officials said the other foreigners were American and British. The three foreigners had been living in Acapulco for some time and were not considered tourists, authorities said.

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There has been confusion surrounding the exact death toll, but more than 40 people died after the storm hit.

The government reported Sunday that at least 48 people died; Mexico’s civil defence agency said in a statement that 43 of the dead were in the resort city of Acapulco and five in the nearby township of Coyuca de Benitez.

Guerrero state’s governor created some confusion Monday by reporting 45 dead, but it was unclear if she was citing the toll only for Acapulco or the whole state. Gov. Evelyn Salgado did say, however, that the number of those missing had risen to 47.

A man walks past a damaged area in the aftermath of Hurricane Otis in Acapulco, Mexico on Sunday.

Felix Marquez/AP

Otis battered Acapulco with winds of 266 kilometres per hour last week, flooding the city, tearing roofs from homes, hotels and other businesses, submerging vehicles, and severing communications as well as road and air connections.

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The damage costs could climb as high as US$15 billion according to estimates, and Mexico has sent some 17,000 members of the armed forces to keep order and help distribute food and supplies in Acapulco.

The disaster struck Acapulco roughly seven months before Mexico’s next presidential election, and President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador on Monday reiterated his claim that critics were attacking his response to Otis and inflating its impact for electoral reasons.

His fiery denunciations have sparked criticism that the president was downplaying the gravity of the disaster.

— with files from The Associated Press and Reuters

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