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What are the hurricane categories as Hurricane Otis makes landfall in Mexico

What are the hurricane categories as Hurricane Otis makes landfall in Mexico

Hurricane Otis, a category 5 storm, has just made landfall in Mexico.

With sustained winds of 165mph, Otis's centre struck the coast of Mexico at 12.25am local time, according to the National Hurricane Centre, near Acapulco.

They stated that as the storm moves inland and crosses the higher terrain of southern Mexico, it is predicted to swiftly weaken and eventually dissipate on Wednesday night.

For the coastal region from Punta Maldonado westward to Zihuatanejo, a hurricane warning is in place. From Lagunas de Chacahua to Punta Maldonado, there is also a tropical storm warning and hurricane watch in effect.

Furthermore, by the end of the week, eight to 16 inches of rain is predicted overall, with up to 20 inches expected in isolated areas. The hurricane centre issued a warning that the intense rains might cause mudslides in higher elevations, flash floods, and urban flooding.

There are more than a million people residing in Acapulco, and it is also a popular resort.

But what does a category 5 hurricane mean?

What are the hurricane categories?

The National Hurricane Center in the United States uses the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale to determine storm categories.

This rates storms based on the severity of their wind speed in a one to five rating. The rating system doesn’t take into account other potential deadly hazards, such as rainfall, flooding, or tornadoes.

Here are the five hurricane categories and what they mean:

Category 1 (max sustained winds of 74mph-95mph)

Very dangerous winds with maximum sustained speeds of between 74mph and 95mph will produce some damage to property, such as roofs, shingles, vinyl siding, and gutters in well-built homes. Large branches will likely snap and trees with shallow roots may fall. Extensive damage to power lines and poles is likely, resulting in power outages for up to several days.

Category 2 (max sustained winds of 96mph-110mph)

Extremely dangerous winds with maximum sustained speeds of between 96mph and 110mph will cause extensive damage, including major roof and siding damage to buildings. Many trees with shallow roots will fall, with the potential to block roads. Power loss is expected, with total outages that could last from several days to weeks.

Category 3 (max sustained winds of 111mph-129mph)

Devastating damage is expected from winds, with maximum sustained speeds of between 111mph and 129mph, including major damage to buildings or removal of roof decking and gable ends. Many trees will fall and block numerous roads. Electricity and water are expected to be unavailable for several days to weeks after the storm passes.

Category 4 (max sustained winds of 130mph-156mph)

Catastrophic damage will occur from winds with maximum sustained speeds of between 130mph to 156mph, including severe damage to buildings, such as losing roof structure and/or some exterior walls. Most trees will be snapped or uprooted and power poles downed. Fallen trees and power poles will isolate residential areas, with power outages lasting weeks to possibly months. Most of the area will be uninhabitable for weeks or months.

Category 5 (max sustained winds of 157mph or higher)

Catastrophic damage will occur from winds with maximum sustained speeds of 157mph or higher, meaning a high percentage of homes will be destroyed, with total roof failure and wall collapse. Fallen trees and power poles will isolate residential areas and power outages will last for weeks to possibly months. Most of the area will be uninhabitable for weeks or months.