Acapulco Highrise Storm Damage

With the level of damage to the window walls of the high rises, even considering a Cat 5 storm, it seems to me excessive - even 10 floors up….

Would Florida see the same level of damage?

Yes, a USA east coast or Gulf of Mexico Cat 5 hurricane will cause the same level of damage. Relatively few hurricanes ever reach Cat 5 wind speeds. The ideal weather conditions needed for Cat 5 wind do not last long, usually 24 hours or less; then the hurricane wind speed drops.

The chances of a hurricane ever reaching Cat 5 AND hitting land during the short time its winds are Cat 5 are low. When it happens, damage is terrific… most damage from storm surge and water, however. Examples: Hurricane Andrew in Florida (1992) and Hurricane Katrina in Louisiana (2005).

My windows and sliding glass door on the lanai in my FL condo meets some wind standard. Which I forget, and can’t look at, since I’m in NC.

Couldn’t the local standards, or lack of standards, play a part in the level of damage?

@Latexman Absolutely yes. After major hurricanes there is usually a serious look at how previous building code structures performed followed by revisions to the codes. Here is a brief summary of some of what took place after Hurricane Andrew: National Association of Home Builders

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That is what I am wondering about. I do remember Andrew and the code changes in the US, but doubt the Mexican authorities are so dilligent. I have seen firsthand what is code there and am not impressed.

It would be interesting to find out what wind code all that cladding was designed under, and who was the low bidder….

I also remember Iniki in Hawaii and saw the devastation there in Kawai a year after. Incredible…

Hurricane Mitch was one to remember.
It was so intense that there was serious discussion as to whether the hurricane scale adequately described it or if the hurricane scale should be amended.
Mitch hit the island of Guanaja three times. First as a cat 5+, second as a cat 3 (As I recall) and third as a tropical storm.
I was on the island two or three days later directing the plant operators in rebuilding the power plant.
We had about 5000 subscribers.
After the storm, we had only 3 poles left standing.
I saw a section of one of our power poles lying on the ground.
The wind had broken the pole between the primaries and the secondary rack.
Then the wind became stronger and broke the pole again below the secondary rack.
The evidence?
A section of pole about 10 feet long, broken on both ends with a secondary rack in the middle.
While not surprising, given possible poor foundations, it was dramatic to see a concrete block fence blown down.
There were less than 20 deaths on the island of Guanaja, but about 150 miles away from the center, torrential rains and flash floods in the mountains washed complete villages away with no trace.
So many entire villages ceased to exist with the loss of all inhabitants that an exact death toll was impossible to determine.
The original official death toll was;
“More than 5000, less than 10,000”
I had a few adventures before we got power restored.