After Hurricane Otis escalated into a Category 5 storm last night (24 October), concerns over the safety of travel to Mexico and the risk of further natural disasters have risen.
Hurricane conditions made a powerful landfall in Acapulco on Mexico’s Pacific coastline on Wednesday morning and sustained 165-mph winds are expected to sweep the south coast between San Jose del Progreso and San Jeronimo de Juarez on 25 October.
The hurricane could become the most powerful storm ever to hit Acapulco, with the potential to affect at least one million people.
Amid Mexico’s June to November hurricane season, Category 4 Hurricane Lidia has already barrelled the states of Jalisco and Nayarit on 10 October, and Category 1 Hurricane Norma swept Los Cabos on the Baja California Peninsula on 21 October.
Even if hurricane warnings are lifted, a risk of landslides, mudslides and flash flooding remains a threat to holidaymakers with trips booked to the ocean-flanked country.
Here’s the latest travel advice for Mexico, plus all the key questions and answers.
What does the Foreign Office say?
On Wednesday (25 October) the Foreign Office (FCDO) updated its advice on travel to Mexico to read: “The FCDO advises against all but essential travel to parts of Mexico” as “Tropical Storm Otis has intensified to a category 4 Hurricane and is anticipated to impact the Pacific south coast.”
Areas to avoid include:
- Tijuana – except airside transit through Tijuana airport
- Chihuahua – except the city of Chihuahua
- Colima – except the city of Manzanillo
- Guanajuato – including all areas southwest of road 45D
- Tamaulipas – except the border crossing at Nuevo Laredo accessed by federal toll road 85D from Monterrey
- Jalisco – including all areas south and southwest of Lake Chapala to the border with the state of Colima
- Sinaloa – except the cities of Los Mochis and Mazatlán
- Michoacán – except the city of Morelia and the town of Pátzcuaro
The FCDO also advises against all but essential travel to these northern municipalities:
- Huequilla el Alto
- San Martin de Bolaños
- Santa Maria de los Ángeles
- Villa Guerrero
Read our live blog for Hurricane Otis updates
What do the Mexican authorities say?
The general directorate of tourist services, Ángeles Verdes, said: “Safety…