Baja California seeks to rebuild following Odile

Written by: 
Reid Crickmore ~ Multimedia Journalist

A devastating Hurricane Odile hit the southern Baja California peninsula with strong winds causing severe damage on Sep. 14, 2014. USA Today reported that Hurricane Odile hit the Los Cabos area with sustained winds of 125 mph; the strength and destruction matching Hurricane Olivia in 1967, the strongest hurricane to strike the Baja peninsula.

Jeff Facer, a junior in business from California who recently returned from Cabo San Lucas, said, “Cabo is a luscious and tropical place filled with culture and happy people. Music fills the air and people are so happy there. It’s such a bummer that Cabo got hit by the hurricane, because it’s so impoverished.”

According to USA Today, Alejandro Tealdi, a Cabo San Lucas resident, said, “From what we have seen around here, everything is pretty much destroyed.”

Damage was reported all over the Los Cabos area. Hotels and houses have completely collapsed, and power lines and poles covered the streets all around the two cities in Los Cabos, Cabo San Lucas and San Jose del Cabo, according to USA Today.

Nathan Nartker, a senior in business management from Idaho who served his mission in Mexico, said, “I feel really bad for the people of Cabo who lost their homes. I hope that they can get back on their feet and look forward to the future with optimism.”

The Weather Channel reported gusty winds whipped palm trees and monster waves crashed on the shores of Los Cabos hours before Hurricane Odile hit.

Luis Felipe Puente, national coordinator for Mexico’s civil protection agency, said, according to The Weather Channel, “Occupancy levels are currently low, but tourists have been warned to stay inside in the safer areas of hotels and keep away from windows and doors.”

The Weather Channel added, “Mexican officials opened shelters for 30,000 people who were being evacuated from coastal areas.”

Hotel officials kept guests updated and advised them to be packed and have passports ready to leave in an instants notice, according to the Associated Press.

Taylor Polson, a senior in ICS from Colorado, said, “If I were there on vacation I would be wondering where to get food, but at the same time taking time to watch the big waves and trying to be safe.”

After 22 flights were cancelled because of extensive damage to the airport, evacuation efforts by the military were under way to get all tourists out of the affected area of Los Cabos, according to USA Today.

No deaths and minor injuries have been reported from Hurricane Odile, according to the Associated Press.