Cabo San Lucas, an enclave of gleaming hotels on the normally sun-drenched tip of Mexico’s Baja California Peninsula, was turned upside-down Monday as Hurricane Odile ripped through the resort town like a blender. Torrential rain and deafening winds pummeled the city’s balconied hotels and wreaked havoc on the sandy shoreline.
Photos posted to social media by visitors to the popular tourist destination depict smashed windows and doors, splintered palm trees, flooded roads and collapsed bits of infrastructure. "We stepped into a completely demolished paradise," Alycia Houser, a student at Oregon State University who was vacationing in Cabo when the storm hit, told NBC News from Mexico.
Tens of thousands of tourists emerged Monday morning to assess the damage after many of them had taken shelter in hotel stairwells and bathrooms. Photos from Houser’s Instagram account show the aftermath of Hurricane Odile, which made landfall as a Category 3 hurricane but became a tropical storm Monday night as it headed north towards the U.S.-Mexico border.
Videos and photos posted to Instagram by user mpwilli910 show another section of Cabo San Lucas after the hurricane.
Many local residents who took refuge in schools and other temporary shelters during the storm returned to find their wooden homes turned to rubble. One homeowner told the AFP the storm “took everything.”
"I'm disappointed about my vacation, but above all my heart aches for the people from here who lost everything," Tifani Brown, a 34-year-old American tourist who arrived in Cabo Sunday from California, told the AFP. "It's one thing to see hurricanes on TV. It's another to live them."