Food, water scarce in Acapulco after destruction wrought by Hurricane Otis

Survivors of Hurricane Otis in Acapulco, Mexico, are facing dwindling supplies of food and water on Saturday in aftermath of the devastating storm as the death toll rose to 27. Photo by David Guzman/EPA-EFE

Oct. 28 (UPI) -- Survivors in Acapulco, Mexico, say they are facing dwindling supplies of food and water in the aftermath of the devastation wrought earlier this week by Hurricane Otis.

Some 27 people were killed and at least four remain missing after the Category 5 hurricane slammed into the popular tourist destination on Thursday, causing widespread damage in the coastal town.

Damage from the storm's 165 mph winds have destroyed buildings, with limited open lines of communication. Much of the region remains without electrical power and the lack of communication has made it hard to get a full picture of the extent of the damage.

Officials on Saturday were continuing to assess the damage.

More than 80% of the city's hotels have been damaged in some way, while the city's airport is also severely impaired.

"It was like living through a two-hour earthquake," Acapulco resident Alejandro Márquez told the Spanish newspaper El País in an interview recounting the hurricane's arrival.

"You see everything breaking into pieces around you, the girls were screaming. The wind looks for an exit point and blows everything through the corridors, sending it flying out."

Some of the city's 1 million residents say they've yet to see much in the way of help from Mexico's federal government.

President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador surveyed the damage Wednesday but his Jeep later got stuck in the mud on a major highway, forcing the president to travel on foot.

Dozens of people were seen lining major roadways out of the city Friday, holding signs pleading for assistance.

"No one has come. The government has done nothing," resident Hisaele Saucedo Bernal told the Los Angeles Times.

"I am very hungry; we have not eaten," added 78-year-old Maria Luisa Tabares. "We no longer have food or water, and no one is helping us."

California-based non-profit agency Direct Relief had sent $200,000 of aid to the city as of Friday.

"I am deeply saddened by the loss of life and devastation caused by Hurricane Otis this week in Mexico. Our hearts are with all those impacted by this terrible storm," U.S. President Joe Biden said in a statement Friday.

"I have directed my administration to work closely with our partners in the Government of Mexico to offer our full support. We are also working to ensure the safety of American citizens in and around Acapulco."