Hurricane Emily hit Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula yesterday after causing damage in Jamaica and Grenada. While the storm made landfall as a Category 4 hurricane, it later weakened as it moved across the peninsula to a Category 1 hurricane with 90 mph winds and is now expected to make landfall along the northern gulf coast of Mexico early Wednesday.
The worst damage on the Yucatan Penninsula was in Puerto Aventuras where the storm's eye came ashore 60 miles south of Cancun. So far, no deaths have been reported as a result of the Hurricane in Mexico. However four storm-related fatalities were reported in Jamaica.
The storm also caused damage in Tobago and flooding in Trinidad, and most seriously affected was northern Grenada, where one person was killed and extensive property damage has been reported. The island nation is still recovering from Hurricane Ivan, which last year killed 39 persons and damaged some 100,000 homes.
Assessments by Church World Service partners in the Caribbean continue. CWS International Response and Recovery Liaison (IRRP) Don Tatlock may join Christian Commission for Development (CCD) staffer Maynor Cerron in making an assessment visit to Mexico, working with partner agencies and member denominations, as well as with Red Cross and local officials. This assessment will be conducted if local capacities are not able to support the necessary response.
Meanwhile, in response to the earlier Hurricane Dennis, the Cuban Council of Churches, a long-time CWS partner, is focusing it relief and recovery assistance efforts in the area of Granma province.* Per United Nations reports, an estimated 480,000 persons in Cuba have suffered material losses, with about 120,000 homes either damaged or destroyed.
CWS is conferring with the Council on the possible shipment of blankets and CWS "Gift of the Heart" Kits.
CWS Emergency Response Program special
contacts: (212) 870-3151;
CWS / ERP web site: www.cwserp.org