Around 26,000 foreign tourists were evacuated this week from Los Cabos after Hurricane Odile swept through the Baja California peninsula, causing extensive damage to homes, hotels and infrastructure but, fortunately, no fatalities.
Odile, a category three hurricane, made landfall late on Sunday, September 14 with wind speeds of up to 125 miles per hour.
Power was cut off to more than a quarter of a million residents, virtually the entire population of the state. The heavy winds uprooted trees, flipped cars and broke hundreds of unshuttered windows. The storm scattered debris over Los Cabos’ normally pristine streets, flooded dozens of properties and washed out streets and roads.
As well as damaging homes and tourism industry facilities – many irreparably – the storm also affected Los Cabos Airport, although it managed to reopen on Tuesday to begin the task of ferrying stranded tourists home. According to tourists who passed through the airport this week, roof panels had been ripped away by the winds, and parts of the terminal were waterlogged.
Many tourists tweeted their concerns as they waited in their hotel rooms for the storm to pass. Mexican authorities said the majority of foreign tourists in Los Cabos were from the United States and Canada. Around 4,000 Mexican tourists were staying in the resort.