Hurricane Emily hit Mexico's Yucatan peninsula early Monday, July 18, 2005. The hurricane's center was just southwest of Cozumel island, a popular tourist area. Most of the tourists were evacuated as the storm drew closer on Sunday. Emily weakened to a Category 2 storm as it passed over the Yucatan.
Stan DeVoogd, PC(USA) Liaison for Mexico, noted that there is flooding in the cities. We are reminded that during the past year, Mexico has been gripped by drought that resulted in the loss of crops and cattle. The rain from Hurricane Emily will ease some of these conditions.
Stan has been in contact with the four presbyteries affected by the hurricanes -- Juan Knox, Norte de Quintana Roo, Caribe, and Peninsular -- and informs us that assessments are being conducted to determine the degree of damage and needs for assistance. DeVoogd reports that concrete-constructed homes suffered little or no damage.
Presbyterian Disaster Assistance stands ready to immediately respond upon completion of the assessments and requests for assistance. We will use One Great Hour of Sharing funds and funds given that are designated for Mexico. Presbyterian Disaster Assistance will also be working closely with the Church World Service Latin America representative to determine a broad and coordinated response to this disaster.
PDA is watching the path of the hurricane. Winds are expected to strengthen over the Gulf of Mexico; landfall in southern Texas is expected on Wednesday.