Hurricane Andrew (1992)

Mexico's disaster bonds were meant to provide quick cash after hurricanes and earthquakes. But it often hasn’t worked out that way

Mexico's disaster bonds were meant to provide quick cash after hurricanes and earthquakes. But it often hasn’t worked out that way

Hurricane Odile churned toward the western coast of Mexico on Sept. 14, 2014, a Category 4 storm with winds powerful enough to flatten homes, bend lampposts and punch windows out of luxury high-rises.

Officials across southern Baja braced for impact, ­shuttering schools, grounding flights and opening emergency shelters. In the resort city of Cabo San Lucas, where the storm would make landfall late that night, police officers raced through drenched and blustery streets with megaphones, warning everyone remaining to leave.

More than a thousand miles away in Mexico City, federal government officials watched nervously, hoping their recent investments in an unusual financial...

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