Hurricane Otis
An image from the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration shows Hurricane Otis near Mexico's southern Pacific coast AFP

Hurricane Otis weakened to category 4 on Wednesday after slamming into Mexico's southern pacific as a catastrophic category 5 storm, making landfall near the city of Acapulco and surrounding towns.

According to the Associated Press, it is expected Otis will continue to weaken as it heads further inland to the mountains of Guerrero state during the day.

However, the forecast still predicts between 5 and 10 inches of rain, and as much as 15 in some areas, raising the threat of landslides and floods.

Otis' winds reached almost 160 miles per hour (260 kilometers), according to the U.S. National Hurricane Center. It decreased to winds of 130 mph in the latest report.

Before landfall, President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (AMLO) made an appeal on social media for people to move to emergency shelters and away from rivers, streams and ravines.

However, he didn't focus on the issue during his regular morning press conferences, commonly known as "mañaneras".

Acapulco Mayor Abelina Lopez also said the city was on "maximum alert" and urged residents to seek refuge at home or go to the city's shelter. Another two dozen beach towns between Acapulco and Zihuatanejo were expected to be impacted by the hurricane as well.

Beach-goers look out to sea as Hurricane Otis approaches
Beach-goers look out to sea as Hurricane Otis approached the Mexican tourist resort of Acapulco AFP

Hurricanes hit Mexico every year on both its Pacific and Atlantic coasts, usually between May and November, though few make landfall as a Category 5.

Earlier this week, Tropical Storm Norma left three people dead, including a child, after making landfall for a second time in the northwestern state of Sinaloa.

Norma came ashore for the first time on the Baja California peninsula on Saturday before heading back out to sea, later barreling into the mainland.

Earlier this month, two people died when Hurricane Lidia, an "extremely dangerous" Category 4 storm, struck the western states of Jalisco and Nayarit.

And in August, storm Hilary, which at one point was also a Category 4 hurricane, caused one death and damaged infrastructure as it hit Baja California.

Scientists have warned that storms are becoming more powerful as the world gets warmer with climate change.

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