In a news release Monday, the governor of Guerrero state, where Acapulco is located, said at least 45 people were killed and 47 are still missing. Sixteen of the bodies that have been recovered have been returned to their families, officials said, adding that three of those included in the death toll are foreign residents from the U.S., Canada and U.K.

An aerial view of a damaged building, in the aftermath of Hurricane Otis, in Acapulco, Mexico, October 30, 2023.QUETZALLI NICTE-HA / REUTERS

Hurricane Otis stunned experts when its wind speeds increased by 115 mph in a single day before making landfall, intensifying at the second-fastest recorded rate in modern times, according to the National Hurricane Center. NOAA said Otis “was the strongest hurricane in the Eastern Pacific to make landfall in the satellite era.”

“There are no hurricanes on record even close to this intensity for this part of Mexico,” the hurricane center warned on Oct. 24 as the storm approached, describing it as a “nightmare scenario.”

Meteorologists and climate scientists say warming oceans and the impact of climate change mean we’re likely to see more such storm behavior in the future.

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