Hurricane “Otis” has caused damage to the early earthquake warning system on the Mexican Pacific coast, according to the agency operating the sensors.
Communication was lost for at least 27 out of about 100 sensor devices in the seismic monitoring network.
In the event of a strong earthquake occurring near the damaged sensor devices, residents cannot be warned to take appropriate precautions in a timely manner.
Engineers were on standby for repairs, but critical transportation routes in the region were halted due to the damage caused by Otis. According to local media reports, at least one person died in the storm as a fisherman on the coast was killed while trying to protect his boat, as reported by Foro TV on Wednesday.
The storm, which was of Category 5, the highest on the Saffir-Simpson scale, hit the southwestern coast of Mexico early Wednesday near the famous coastal resort of Acapulco, with sustained winds of about 270 kilometers per hour and gusts reaching speeds of up to 330 kilometers per hour.
Otis’s classification was later downgraded to a tropical storm.
Phone and internet communications collapsed, and after more than half a day, the coastal city remained cut off from the outside world. The exact extent of the damage was initially unknown.
Earthquakes cannot be predicted, but the early warning system quickly detects the initial tremors and issues an alert.