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#263610 - 09/18/13 05:16 PM Acapulco tourists stranded
Arney Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 09/15/05
Posts: 2485
Loc: California
I've been following the story out of Acapulco, which was cutoff over the weekend by the twin blows from two storms to hit Mexico. This article describes some of the troubles of tourists trapped there. The two main roads are flooded or blocked by multiple landslides, so the estimated 40,000 tourists there can really only escape by air, but the airport is still flooded and operating minimally, so there are long, long lines to catch any sort of flight out. The local Costco was looted and much of the region seems to be without electricity.

I really would not want to be wading around in that floodwater.

Acapulco has already been struggling for a while with stories of cartel violence nearby, but I'm sure this won't help its image at all.

Even for the well prepared, vacations are always a challenge, especially when the space/weight limitations of air travel are involved. It's easy to end up someplace feeling as unprepared as...well, the unprepared! Besides gear, you don't necessarily know the area well, don't have your support network to lean on, and may not even know the language or "how things are done".

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#263615 - 09/18/13 06:44 PM Re: Acapulco tourists stranded [Re: Arney]
TeacherRO Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 03/11/05
Posts: 2146
Started following this as well...Many stranded tourists. Much of the problem in 2nd world countries is lack of strong infrastructure. And why I pack a water filter and power bars. And cash.

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#263616 - 09/18/13 07:03 PM Re: Acapulco tourists stranded [Re: TeacherRO]
Arney Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 09/15/05
Posts: 2485
Loc: California
Originally Posted By: TeacherRO
Much of the problem in 2nd world countries is lack of strong infrastructure.

The US infrastructure ain't that great in many places either. And with the emphasis on just-in-time re-supply, pretty much any American tourist center that is cut-off from vehicular traffic is going to have serious problems in a matter of days, too.

Even the Fukushima region in uber modern Japan suffered widespread re-supply issues. For a number of reasons, trucks were unable/unwilling to drive into the region so food and fuel all ran out very quickly there. I'm still haunted by the video posted by the mayor of a small town in the region pleading for help after the quake and tsunami devastated their town.

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#263633 - 09/20/13 02:14 AM Re: Acapulco tourists stranded [Re: Arney]
James_Van_Artsdalen Offline
Addict

Registered: 09/13/07
Posts: 449
Loc: Texas
It's not an infrastructure problem. The challenge of a hurricane on one coast and a tropical cyclone on the other would be tough on the US too.

The Mexican Civil Disaster chief could probably take a globe and mash his thumb over Mexico, and not cover all of the disaster area.

As for the tourists... why go into harm's way like that? Is checking the weather forecast a lost art?

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#263637 - 09/20/13 12:55 PM Re: Acapulco tourists stranded [Re: Arney]
JPickett Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 08/03/12
Posts: 264
Loc: Missouri
J V A , this may be influenced by how quickly the storm brewed up. (I'm not saying that happened here, just as a for-instance) I'm reminded also of the experience of my father on the Pacific coast of Mexico. He was a pediatrician in Texas and the Texas Pediatric Society held a professional meeting at a Mexican resort. This occurred in the mid-70's. The last day of the meeting my father and a few friends had chartered a day fishing trip. Once out from the coast the winds got up and rain came down and soon my father and his friends were alternately bailing and hanging out the side of the craft to keep the boat level in the wind and waves. At one point, the wind and seas suddenly died; then got up from the other direction. They realized they had passed through the eye of a hurricane. They finally made it back to port. When my parents left Mexico the next day, one fishing boat was still overdue. My father told me later the governor of the state had ordered the commercial fishing boats to stay in port, but had not extended the order to private craft carrying tourists. I never heard what came of the overdue boat.

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#263642 - 09/20/13 09:06 PM Re: Acapulco tourists stranded [Re: Arney]
MartinFocazio Offline

Pooh-Bah

Registered: 01/21/03
Posts: 2148
Loc: Bucks County PA
This is definitely one of those cases where you need to really think things through carefully. Not on my list of desirable situations.

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#263658 - 09/21/13 04:02 AM Re: Acapulco tourists stranded [Re: JPickett]
James_Van_Artsdalen Offline
Addict

Registered: 09/13/07
Posts: 449
Loc: Texas
Originally Posted By: JPickett
J V A , this may be influenced by how quickly the storm brewed up. (I'm not saying that happened here, just as a for-instance)

True. I should be more sympathetic as there is a current example: the typhoon approaching Hong Kong spun up from 50 mph to 150 mph in less than a day. Yikes!

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#263671 - 09/21/13 07:45 PM Re: Acapulco tourists stranded [Re: Arney]
Lono Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 10/19/06
Posts: 1013
Loc: Pacific NW, USA
Remember also that these storms struck on Sept 15 and 16. Monday Sept 16 was Mexican Independence Day - it hit over a 3 day+ weekend. Many of the stranded travelers are Mexican citizens on holiday. Some may have looked ahead and cancelled flights and hotels, but not many / all. You see the same stubbornness in the face of storm around US national holidays as well.

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#263675 - 09/21/13 11:43 PM Re: Acapulco tourists stranded [Re: Lono]
Arney Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 09/15/05
Posts: 2485
Loc: California
I went back in Google News and tried to find warnings for Acapulco before the storms made landfall, but couldn't find any. I don't think anyone in Acapulco was really aware of what might happen. And Manuel was "only" a tropical storm when it came onshore from the Pacific. I think it lingered a lot longer than expected and ended up dumping a LOT of rain on the region. And of course, you had Hurricane Ingrid coming ashore from the Gulf side.

Changing tack a bit, but the super typhoon in the Pacific, Onagi, has some potential. If you go by barometric pressure, I believe a BBC article I read said that this is the most intense storm on the planet since 1984. As someone else said, it intensified from a run of the mill tropical storm in the blink of the eye.

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#263693 - 09/23/13 04:00 PM Re: Acapulco tourists stranded [Re: Arney]
JPickett Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 08/03/12
Posts: 264
Loc: Missouri
This has also reminded me of a situation our family was on the periphery of in, I think, 1994. We lived in Macon, Ga. at the time and vacationed in Mexico Beach, Fl. On July,2 1994, we drove to our rented duplex in MB, unpacked and I turned on the TV to find tropical storm Alberto had brewed up in the gulf, turned to a hurricane and was heading right at us. We threw everything back in the car and drove to Tallahassee to spend the night. Hurricane Alberto passed right over the Florida panhandle and came to a stop pretty much over Macon, held in place by a couple of high pressure systems. Macon and all of Middle Georgia got, IIRC, 24 inches of rain over 3 days. The water treatment plant for Macon had been built on the shore of the Ocmulgee river, where the water was. When the river rose above the water treatment plant, it shut down and about a half million people had no potable water supply. When the family and I returned to Macon about July 10th, Army Reserve tank trucks were supplying the city with both potable and non-potable water; the last for toilet flushing and the like. Everyone had a supply of plastic gallon jugs and would drive to the nearest supply point (mall parking lots for instance) and fill all their empties. We found a couple minutes in the microwave would heat a gallon of water to a comfortable temp for a shower. The city continued in this mode for about a month total, I think, before the water plant was restored and all the water lines flushed.

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