Mexico: Families without food and children out of school two weeks after Hurricane Otis

Save the Children

Thousands of families in southwest Mexico are without food and water two weeks after a massive hurricane took the country by surprise and about 185,000 children are out of school, with rebuilding expected to take at least 10 years, Save the Children said.

The resort towns of Acapulco and the village of Coyuca de Benitez have been declared natural disaster areas after being battered by Hurricane Otis on 25 October, the strongest storm ever to hit Mexico's Pacific coast with winds of 165 mph (270km/h). More than 48 people are confirmed dead and 48 missing, with scientists blaming climate change and rising sea temperatures for the rapid intensification in less than 12 hours from a tropical storm to a hurricane.

With no time to prepare, more than 250,000 families - or up to 1 million people - were impacted in the province of Guerrero, one of the poorest states in the country, with bridges and roads destroyed, and more than 1,000 schools damaged, according to government figures. More than 90% of buildings in the area were damaged and power supplies cut.

Children have told Save the Children that they lost everything, including their homes, their schools and their toys, fleeing with just the clothes they were wearing. Many have ended up living in shelters and are resorting to bathing in local streams and rivers. Some reportedly have only had cookies to eat.