Washington, D.C. - The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) announced it will provide an initial $50,000 in disaster relief to assist victims in Uruguay.
On August 23 and 24, a severe and unexpected wind and rain storm struck southern and eastern parts of Uruguay where 70 percent of Uruguay's population lives, destroying infrastructure in the capital, Montevideo, and in the departments of Canelones, San José, Colonia, and Maldonado. The U.S. Embassy in Montevideo reported that hurricane force winds reached 175 km per hour, demolishing homes, tearing power lines, felling trees, and blocking roads.
According to the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), eight people were killed, thousands of homes lost their roofs, nearly 1,000 families had no access to drinking water, and approximately 20,000 households had no electricity and telephone services. The storm also damaged communication and security infrastructure, including knocking over two communications towers and tearing the roof off of Uruguay's largest prison.
On September 1, U.S. Chargé D'Affaires James D. Nealon declared a disaster due to the effects of the wind and rain storm. In response, USAID is providing special funds set up by the Office of the Presidency of Uruguay to cover the basic needs of the most severely affected and vulnerable families.
The U.S. Agency for International Development has provided economic and humanitarian assistance worldwide for more than 40 years.
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