By Jorge Cirett
As you might have noticed, this Gambusino Prospector page was left unattended for two days in a row, something that had never happened before. The reason being that both Miguel Heredia and I were left stranded and with very little communication means after Otis directly hit Acapulco as a category five hurricane.
Please note this is the experience of an outsider that was very lucky to be on one of the hotels that kept its staff working, had backup energy and enough food to feed a few hundred guests for several days, and later counted with the support of the AIMMGM for organizing the exit from Acapulco. Our greatest thanks and appreciation to Hotel Princess operators and even more to the staff that kept working under trying circumstances. Thanks also to the help and information provided by the AIMMGM, although the event also made evident the areas where the organization needs upgrading. Our first and only contact with the government while on the Hotel was a helicopter flying through the coast on the morning of October 26, more than 30 hours after the hurricane.
We were attending the AIMMGM convention, staying at the Princess Hotel, part of the Mundo Imperial chain. Here is a description of what it was like being on a city as it suffered under one of the strongest forces of nature.
We arrived by road to the Princess hotel about 17:00, under a gray overcast sky and no wind.
By 18:00 we arrived at the Convention Center and went directly to the Exhibition Hall, skipping the Inauguration event, as we would need to move between the buildings to attend, and went directly to the Exhibition Hall. A friend of us had sent previously a warning on the strengthening of Otis, and the estimated path a bit off from Acapulco, so when we overheard a conversation where one of the organizers was recommending to leave early, we didn’t loose time and headed for the exit.
At approximately 21:30 we were on the queue for boarding the buses to the hotels, with about 70 persons in front of us, under a scatter of water droplets, not quite a rain, and a strong breeze. By 22:00 we were at the hotel, with strong winds and light rain.
I was an optimist (a naive one), as I had heard Otis would arrive at 4:00 am the next day, and I even set an alarm to wake me up before its arrival. By 23:00 it was clear that I was not to need any alarm to wake me up….. a category five hurricane needs no wake-up alarms. The following pictures and videos were taken between 22:00 and 23:00 hours, as the winds strengthened.