ACT Alert Central America No. 2/2000: Hurricane Keith
From Friday 29 to Saturday 30 September, tropical storm Keith developed into a rapid and unpredictable category 4 hurricane. From Saturday 30 September until Monday 2 October, it continued to hover off the coast of Belize, battering the offshore islets and bringing heavy rains to Belize and neighboring Guatemala. Hurricane Keith has crossed from the Caribbean, through Belize and the Yucatan Peninsula to Mexico leaving considerable damage in Belize. Effects of the hurricane also caused flooding in Nicaragua, Panama, Costa Rica, El Salvador and Venezuela.
ACT members in the region: Lutheran World Federation - Department of World Service (LWF-DWS) in El Salvador, Centro Intereclesial de Estudios Teológicos y Sociales (CIEETS) and the Lutheran Church in Nicaragua (ACT does not have any members in Belize) have been keeping the ACT Coordinating Office updated.
Belize is the most affected country with an estimated 40% of the total population (100,000 habitants) being affected. 3,296 people were displaced and 1,200 are in shelters. After Belize, the impoverished country of Nicaragua was the worst affected, with the departments of Leon, Chinandega, Managua, Granada and Rivas being the most ravaged. Ten persons are reported dead and some 5,200 people have been evacuated to local schools which are being used as temporary shelters. It is estimated that 80% of the crops of the affected areas has been lost. CIETTS and the Lutheran Church of Nicaragua have been providing immediate relief assistance to the affected population and are preparing a request to the network for the post-crisis phase.
Thank you for your attention.
ACT Web Site address: http://www.act-intl.org
ACT is a worldwide network of churches and related agencies meeting human need through coordinated emergency response.
The ACT Coordinating Office is based with the World Council of Churches (WCC) and the Lutheran World Federation (LWF) in Switzerland.