RET International Statement on Hurricane Otis
On Wednesday, October 25, Hurricane Otis made landfall on Mexico’s Pacific coast as a category five hurricane with winds in excess of 165 miles per hour (265km/h). In the days since, the loss of life and damage incurred has been staggering. Landlines and mobile phone coverage was disrupted, hampered information flow and aid delivery.
In Guerrero state, where Otis made landfall, the local populations were caught off-guard as Otis increased in volatility from a tropical storm to category five hurricane (the most severe) in just 12 hours.
In terms of vulnerability, it is also important to note that Guerrero has become a hub for internally displaced people, many of whom head to the central area of Mexico on their way to seek refugee status in the U.S. This vulnerable population has therefore felt the effects of the current situation particularly acutely.
Since 2020, RET has been actively collaborating with both the national government of Mexico and local authorities .to develop and enhance inclusive disaster risk reduction and management strategies, while also focusing on capacity building. The recent impact of Hurricane Otis serves as a stark reminder of the critical importance of this ongoing effort. It underscores the pivotal role that cooperation among various levels of government can play in effective response measures. It further emphasizes the urgent necessity to maintain a collective commitment to safeguarding communities from the increasingly devastating impacts of hydrometeorological disasters exacerbated by the effects of climate change.
RET is deeply concerned about the dire situation faced by individuals with disabilities during emergencies. In the affected area, according to the 2020 Census, there are 669,526 individuals with disabilities and limitations in their daily lives in Guerrero. This number needs to be multiplied by four to account for their families, which results in 2,678,104 people directly affected considered as underserved individuals.
We are dedicated to promoting an inclusive paradigm among government officials, striving for a more equitable and inclusive approach in our disaster response strategies.
To help RET respond to this emergency and continue providing long-term solutions and support for disaster risk reduction in Mexico, donate today at https://theret.org/donate/