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Mexico West Coast: Extensive Damage wreaked by Hurricane Odile

By Latitude '38 — last modified Sep 19, 2014 11:33 AM
This special report by Latitude 38 details the effect this Hurricane has had in Baja California, Mexico, a popular haven for cruising boats.

Published: 2014-09-16 23:00:00
Topics: Weather
Countries: Mexico

Mexico West Coast: Extensive Damage wreaked by Hurricane Odile

© Shelly Ward c/o Latitude '38

With most communication out within Baja, it's difficult to get an accurate picture of the destruction caused by Hurricane Odile, but the following should give a general idea.

La Paz

In excess of 20 boats were reportedly either sunk or driven onto the Magote, the peninsula that defines La Paz harbor. The marinas and boats in the marinas apparently did quite well, notably Marina de La Paz, which suffered major damage to itself and berthed boats during the last big hurricane.

Currently, four cruisers from boats anchored out at La Paz are missing and the Navy are involved in the search. La Paz is a tight cruising community, so everyone is praying for the four missing friends.

Cabo San Lucas

Cabo took a terrible hit with winds reported to 125 mph, making it either the worst hurricane to hit Cabo in recorded history or the second worst after Carla in 1967, back when Cabo was not much more than three palapas. Officials say that 135 people were hurt, but nobody was killed. If true, it would be a miracle.

We don't have details, but it seems that boats tucked into the marina past the dogleg to the right did quite well.

The unsettling news is that it looks as if another hurricane is headed in the general direction of Cabo. This would be Polo, which is currently a tropical storm but projected to reach hurricane force near Cabo on Saturday. Do hurricanes strike the same place twice within a week? That's what happened with Luis in 1995, which destroyed 700 recreational boats in St. Martin's Simpson Bay and was followed a week later by Hurricane Marilyn, which fortunately wasn't quite as nasty. Chances are Polo won't hit Cabo, and, even if it does, probably not with hurricane force.

Puerto Escondido

Odile passed within 50 miles of Puerto Escondido to the west as a Category 2 hurricane, with gusts of at least 70 knots in the harbour. Four boats — three were unoccupied — in the main anchorage, broke off their moorings and are now on shore in various places around the anchorage. Out in the Waiting Room anchorage, two boats broke off moorings and are on the shore, and two more were dismasted.

Read the full story by Latitude '38 with photos at http://www.latitude38.com/lectronic/lectronicday.lasso?date=2014-09-16#.VBlqEJRdVIE

Updated story September 17th by Latitude 38 at http://www.latitude38.com/lectronic/lectronicday.lasso?date=2014-09-17#.VBwjFpRdVIF

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Sue Richards
Sue Richards says:
Sep 19, 2014 11:27 AM

The following courtesy of The Southbound Yahoo Group https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/southbound_group/info
September 17th, 2014

Around town at least 500 power poles are down, transformers popped so many
and so quickly that it looked like a Fireworks Show! The town is without
electricity, but landlines seem to be partly-operational, on/off/ on again,
and ALL cellphone service is out for possibly up to a month, due to
multiple breaks in the fiber-optics cable. One CABLE. We did hear a report
that parts of the City of La Paz had winds of up to 125MPH! No wonder all
the trees have been trimmed or taken down completely! Metal poles,
streetlight poles, etc, have been bent over like matchsticks.

The normal military presence is gone, with reports being that police
officers are off work, in civvies, participating in the looting in
locations other than La Paz. Gasoline will be in short supply, although
some stations are open the lines are long, with most people filling
jerry-jugs for generators.

The absolute worst part is that the Boaters have lost members, a young
English couple and an older German man and his dog are still missing,
although their boats were found, sunk, along the mangroves of the Magote,
they have not been found. The Mexican Navy dived all sunken boats looking for bodies, but can't participate in any salvage operations.

The La Paz airport is flying planes but only to the mainland, and military
planes are flying as well. The electrical crews have been hard at work
since 8am on Monday. The airport at Cabo has been totally decimated and will be out of business for an unknown period of time.

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