Update Emergency Appeal Mexico Volcano

Originally published
33 Denominations & Communions Working Together to Meet Human Needs

MEXICO VOLCANO -- $200,000

Disaster Bulletin No. 76355
Aug. 25, 1997

SITUATION: Mexico's Popocatepetl volcano continues to release ash clouds over Mexico City and several surrounding Mexican states. Earlier this month, ash flew more than a mile into the sky from the 17,719-foot volcano -- the strongest rumblings since June 30, when ash blanketed Mexico City and forced the closure of the city's international airport. The volcano continues to threaten the safety of hundreds of thousands in the states of Mexico, Morelos and Puebla, particularly villagers living at the base of the legendary mountain, known to Mexicans as "El Popo."

RESPONSE: The first phase of a Church World Service-sponsored disaster preparedness and training project for affected communities has been completed. Organized to assist indigenous communities located closest to the mountain, it has been coordinated by Samuel Lobato, CWS Regional Representative, local Roman Catholic priests and indigenous community leaders.

Two seminars have been held: a June community participation in disaster preparedness, presented by the Council of Evangelical Churches for Denominational Alliance (CEPAD), and a second, organizing communities in disaster prevention and mitigation, presented by the Christian Commission for Development (CCD) of Honduras.

Some 100 people have attended the seminars over the last three months, which have been implemented simultaneously with the actual emergency. "This has enabled the participants to put into practice some of the procedures being taught," reports CWS Latin America Director Oscar Bolioli.

A campsite for 1,500 displaced persons in areas most at risk has been created, with the help of blankets, tents and other supplies provided with CWS Global Disaster Funds.

"The indigenous communities have felt a tremendous sense of relief and support," Bolioli said. "This, in turn, has created a process of coordination within the communities." One result is the probable creation of a local disaster preparedness/emergency response commission.

A preliminary evaluation of the project is planned for September.


(The following figures are based on information available as of Aug. 25. Information provided to CWS/ERO may not yet be complete and the following figures are not final. If there are changes or corrections, please contact CWS/ERO and changes/corrections will be included in future updates.)

Church World Service sent $100,000 for blankets and other assistance from the Global Disaster Fund for Emergency Account #76355. It has received $16,0000 in appeal income.

The following denominations have contributed toward this appeal:

  • Christian Church (Disciples) $6,000
  • United Church of Christ (United Church Board of World Ministries) $10,000
Thank you to the contributing denominations.

Call the CWS HOTLINE for updates: (800) 456-1310.

For further information about disasters to which Church World Service is responding, contact CWS Emergency Response.

Telephone: (212) 870-3151
After-hours emergency pager: (800) 780-0853
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