On Friday afternoon (local time), Hurricane Kenna struck the coastal areas of the Mexican state of Nayarit as a category 3 hurricane (the Saffir-Simpson scale). The Civil Defence representatives reported 1 person dead and 54 injured due to falling trees, electric posts and windows. The States most affected were Nayarit, Jalisco, Sinaloa y Colima and places with severe damages are San Blas, Santiago Ixcuintla, Tecuala, Acaponeta, Compostela and Bahia de Banderas, with an estimated population of 100,000 inhabitants. Around 15,000 people of 32 communities where evacuated to Mazatlan (Sinaloa).
In the port city of San Blas, 8,800 people were affected and 1,540 houses damaged, while another 3,770 houses suffered damages in Santiago Ixcluintla. The rural areas of San Blas, Tecuala and Acaponeta lost their entire banana, tobacco and fruit crops. More than 700 subsistence farmers and their families in Tecuala and Acaponeta are in need of food and drinking water. Floods have affected many hotels, resorts and shopping areas in the tourist city of Puerto Vallarta, where the airport was temporary closed.
Kenna, the second strongest hurricane striking Mexico since Gilberto in 1988, rapidly weakened to a tropical depression while moving towards the Cordillera Central (central mountain range), but the rainfall caused minor flash floods and mud slides in several communities of Aguas Calientes, Zacatecas, Durango, Cohauila, Nuevo León, San Luis Potosí and Tamaulipas, before it dissipated in Gulf of Mexico.
The National Centre for Disaster Prevention (CENAPRED) has coordinated the response in the states affected. The Mexican Army, Civil Defence, Mexican Red Cross and firebrigades were on the spot and have participated in the rescue and relief operations in the aftermath of the hurricane. The Army has deployed bulldozers to remove the fallen trees, and water processing plants to assist the affected population. The navy are supporting the medical response in the area of San Blas. The government Department for Family Development (DIF) delivered food in coordination with the Mexican Red Cross.
Red Cross/Red Crescent Action
Seven state Red Cross branches deploying 180 technical staff and Mexican Red Cross (MRC) volunteers, supported with 26 vehicles, have been involved in the response, and delivered 50 MT of food, drinking water, clothes and medicines in the first hours after the disaster. Another 125 MT of relief items (mainly food) will be distributed to most vulnerable in the next 24 hours. Corona enterprise has offered 25,000 liters of drinking water and 1,000 food sets to be distributed in San Blas through the MRC.
Five Red Cross field teams have carried out an evalutation of the damages and assessed the immediate needs in the coastal States affected. The Disaster Response director of the Mexican Red Cross, together with a 3 person technical team, supported by the head of Federation's Pan American Disaster Response Unit (PADRU), visited the most affected areas of San Blas y Santiago Ixcuintla (26th of October).
The Federation's regional communications delegate, based in Mexico City, has ensured a close and effective liaison between the MRC, the Regional Delegation in Guatemala and PADRU. The ICRC Regional Delegation in Mexico cooperated with the Federation in terms of administrative support for the initial needs assessment and logistics. The mobilization and standby of the Canadian RC/CIDA ESOC airlift was a useful exercise, whilst not ultimately required in this case, for future disaster response.
The Mexican RC is planning an 8 day relief operation to support the basic needs of the affected population for food, clean water and clothing. For the more vulnerable subsistence farmers and fishermen who have lost crops and fishing equipment, specially in the rural areas of San Blas, Tecuala and Acaponeta, longer term support will be needed.
It is not anticipated that international assistance will be needed, however the American Red Cross, German Red Cross and Spanish Red Cross with delegates in Mexico, have offered technical and human support to the MRC.
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For further details please contact :
- Isaac Oxenhaut, Mexican Red Cross National Headquarters. Phone (52 55) 395 1111; Fax (52 55) 395 1598; e-mail: email@example.com
- Fabricio López, Federation regional communications delegate in Mexico, Phone (52 55) 5255 4355. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Josephine Shields, Guatemala regional delegation. Mobile: (502) 301 0070. Fax: (502) 363 1449. E-mail:email@example.com.
- Olaug Bergseth, Phone 41 22 730 45 35; Fax 41 22 733 0395; email firstname.lastname@example.org
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