Washington D.C. (September 20, 2013) – The Pan American Development Foundation (PADF) is coordinating closely with government emergency agencies and other partners to assist communities who have been seriously affected by recent heavy flooding in Mexico and Honduras.
“Many hillside communities have been affected in Honduras,” said Liza Mantilla, Director of Disaster Management for PADF. “In Mexico, the ongoing rains over that last several days has caused large-scale damage. We’re moving quickly to mobilize our partners and coordinate with emergency entities to ensure we can reach the most affected with relief assistance.”
PADF has already reached out to its corporate partners in order to expand the response and better provide for the immediate needs of survivors. PADF’s emergency team is also coordinating with local governmental emergency agencies and working with local organizations to arrange the delivery of aid.
In Mexico, Tropical Storm Manuel brought strong winds and heavy rains to Mexico’s northwest coast, causing flash floods and landslides, and forcing mass evacuations throughout the region. Days of treacherous weather have left at least 97 people dead, more than 60 others missing, and affecting a million people across the country.
The ongoing rainfall has flooded extensive portions of Mexico in the last few days, burying homes and occupants, destroying roads and bridges, and heavily affecting other infrastructure. Mexico’s emergency services have been working around the clock to evacuate stranded residents particularly in coastal areas.
This latest tragedy comes just days after Tropical Storm Ingrid struck Mexico from the Gulf of Mexico, causing extensive flooding and flash floods.
In Honduras, strong rains caused flooding in Tegucigalpa and Comayagüela, located in the Central District, leaving at least one dead, flooding and destroying homes and damaging other infrastructure. Honduras’ Permanent Commission for Contingencies (Comisión Permanente de Contingencia – COPECO) issued a 48-hour yellow alert yesterday due to the danger of more landslides. A green alert—which advises residents to be prepared—has also been issued in the following departments: El Paraíso, Copán, Ocotepeque, Santa Bárbara, Lempira, Intibucá, Comayagüa, Francisco Morazán, Olancho, and Valle.
As a preventive measure, the Municipal Emergency Management Committee (CODEM) has evacuated several communities at risk of future landslides.
In the neighborhood of La Izaguirre, where PADF is conducting an initial assessment, several houses were destroyed due to the landslides.
"Many families living on steep hillsides have seen the land collapse under their homes, destroying their dwellings. Unfortunately, other homes are also in danger of collapsing," added Mantilla.
To help PADF provide immediate assistance to the affected communities, go to www.padf.org/donate. You can also contribute by calling toll-free at 877.572.4484.
PADF is the non-profit foundation of the Organization of American States, established in 1962 to implement integral socio-economic development programs for disadvantaged people, to strengthen civil society and community groups in support of the Inter-American Democratic Charter, and to aid victims of natural disasters and humanitarian crises. In 2012, it helped more than 10 million people in 29 countries. Headquartered in Washington DC, PADF has field offices in Haiti, Colombia, Suriname and Honduras, and projects throughout Latin America and the Caribbean. www.padf.org