USA: Hurricane Ike strikes Texas; ADRA sends aid
As Texas authorities reopen affected areas and evacuees begin returning to their homes, ACS plans to open distribution sites to provide emergency assistance donated by ADRA. These distribution centers will serve survivors emergency supplies, such as blankets, hygiene kits, personal care kits, and other essential items.
The latest emergency aid comes less than two weeks after ADRA provided $100,000 in assistance to residents in Louisiana where Hurricane Gustav struck on August 30. Currently, disaster responders are assessing the situation on the ground as they prepare to distribute aid in those communities that were hardest hit.
"ADRA supports ACS to respond to this new disaster as we work together to provide a measure of comfort to many families who have been deeply affected in the last 24 hours," said Frank Teeuwen, Emergency Management Bureau Chief for ADRA International.
Ike, the second major hurricane to strike the U.S. Gulf Coast region in less than two weeks and the most powerful to develop in the Atlantic so far this year, swept inland at 2:10 a.m. CDT as a 900-mile (1,400 km) wide Category 2 storm, down from its earlier Category 4 status, flooding low-lying residential areas from Texas to Louisiana, displacing some 1.2 million residents, and killing at least four people. Approximately 2.6 million residents remain without electricity, the U.S. Department of Energy said on Saturday. The storm also prompted the largest search-and-rescue operation in Texas state history.
As a result of the heavy flooding and wind damage, President George W. Bush declared 29 Texas counties disaster areas. Texas and Louisiana state officials also appealed to residents displaced by the storm to wait a few days before returning home.
"We know people are anxious to return home, but we are asking for everyone's patience in waiting for the all clear," said David Paulison, Administrator for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). "Our greatest concern is the safety of Texas and Louisiana residents, first responders and rescue workers."
Since its formation in early September, Ike is blamed for at least 90 deaths, most of them in Haiti where three prior 2008 storms-Fay, Gustav, and Hanna-left some 615 dead.
Currently, Hurricane Ike, whose status has been downgraded to tropical storm, is moving northeast at 24 mph (39 km/h) over Arkansas. As it continues to lose strength, it is expected to pass over Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Michigan, and eastern Canada, according to the National Weather Service in Maryland.
More details will be released as ADRA's response expands.
To send your contribution to ADRA's Emergency Response Fund, please call 1.800.424.ADRA (2372) or give online at www.adra.org.
ADRA is a non-governmental organization present in 125 countries providing sustainable community development and disaster relief without regard to political or religious association, age, gender, or ethnicity.
Author: Hearly Mayr
Media Contact: John Torres, Senior
Public Relations Manager, ADRA International
12501 Old Columbia Pike Silver Spring, MD 20904
MEDIA INQUIRIES: 1-800-931-2372