It’s not fair to blame the hurricane on President Andres Lopez-Obrador, but he is getting the blame. As President Bush learned with Katrina, those local governments can make you look really bad. Things are not going well, especially now that looting is everywhere.
This is the story:
Looting ravaged the Mexican city of Acapulco after the iconic beach resort was hammered this week by Hurricane Otis, a record-breaking storm that killed at least 27 people and left thousands of residents struggling to get food and water.
Otis pounded Acapulco with winds of 165 miles per hour (266 km per hour) early on Wednesday, flooding the city, tearing roofs from homes, stores and hotels, submerging vehicles, and severing communications as well as road and air connections.
The cost of devastation left by the Category 5 storm was estimated at billions of dollars, and over 8,000 armed forces members were sent to help the stricken port recover. “Right now, money’s no use to us because there’s nothing to buy, everything’s been looted,” 57-year-old Acapulco resident Rodolfo Villagomez said after Otis tore through the city. “It was total chaos. You could hear it here hissing like a bull.”
It’s a mess. We heard Sunday morning that people went to sleep knowing that there was a tropical storm in the neighborhood. They suddenly woke up to broken windows and things flying everywhere. One family hid in the bathroom. Others found some protection in the staircases connecting the floors of apartment buildings. One friend said that the Princess, a very popular hotel for tourists, was demolished.
Then things got worse. No one could come in or get out of Acapulco. So the residents were helpless without water or protection from looters.
Where was the government? Well, the local government was impotent, in large part because their facilities were devastated too. What about the federal government? The soldiers are on their way but getting in is a hard task.
So it’s a total mess in Acapulco. At one point, President Lopez-Obrador’s car was stuck in the mud, and the criticism is growing. His opponents are saying that the citizens did not get ample warning. Category 5 hurricanes can turn politics upside down.