Photo: Paul Jeffrey/ACT Alliance
In our weekly updates, we share stories of our presence and impact around the world: from disaster response, to refugee and immigration ministry, to ongoing sustainable development projects in impoverished areas. Catch up on updates you missed, or find stories you want to read and share again! Or, subscribe to receive weekly email updates.
To be inundated is typically not a good thing: the word carries a sense of too much. Water, a necessity for life, can at times be soothing, as a gently moving river or a placid sea reflecting blue skies above. Yet it also has the power to overwhelm, as when that same river overflows its banks or when an ocean surge is pushed before a storm. Too much water can inundate a riverbed, a floodplain, a surrounding community.
Nobody hungry, nobody thirsty,
shade from the sun, shelter from the wind,
For the Compassionate One guides them,
takes them to the best springs. ~Isaiah 49:10
Food insecurity. Political unrest. Climate change threatening the viability of crops...
Imagine all of these things, happening at once. And then, back to back hurricanes arrive.
In November of 2020 two consecutive hurricanes--Eta and Iota-- impacted the same regions of Central America, with Nicaragua experiencing some of the most severe impact. Flooding destroyed the bean crops, contaminated water wells, destroyed latrines, and left thousands of families homeless. People moved to emergency shelters in schools and churches, but thousands didn´t have time to evacuate or preferred not to leave their homes for security reasons or fear of COVID-19.
Isaías 49:10 No tendrán hambre ni sed, ni el calor ni el sol los afligirá; porque el que tiene de ellos misericordia los guiará, y los conducirá a fuentes de aguas vivas.
Inseguridad de tener comida. Disturbios políticos. Los cambios del clima amenazando la viabilidad de las cosechas…
Imagínense todas esas cosas, pasando a la vez. Y entonces, dos huracanes consecutivos llegan.
“When Hurricane Michael made landfall in October 2018 and devastated our area, you answered our call... to provide disaster recovery assistance for residents who do not have adequate resources to rebuild and restore their lives in the aftermath of the strongest storm to hit Bay County... and today, we are postured to assist the many residents still recovering from Hurricane Michael, and those impacted by COVID-19, and now Hurricane Sally.” -Donna Pilson, Rebulid Bay County, Inc. Executive Director
Rebuilding communities and lives after a disaster takes time; often, it takes years. Media coverage wanes after the immediate impact, so many never witness the later stages of recovery. But needs continue to evolve long after the initial crisis. And sometimes, new needs emerge as well. Week of Compassion is committed to supporting local partners through every stage of disaster recovery as they meet rapidly changing needs in their local communities-- and even face the challenges of compound disasters.
“Everything we usually do has been turned upside down,” says Lisa Crouch, Associate Director of Children’s Disaster Services, a Week of Compassion partner through Brethren Disaster Ministries. Children have unique needs following disasters, and CDS typically provides trauma-informed childcare in evacuation shelters and disaster resource centers during and after disasters. But as the pandemic has changed the face of disaster response, CDS has adapted their work for the COVID-19 context.
click for English translation
Varias comunidades de Centroamérica se encuentran entre las afectadas por el huracán Eta, el cual llegó a Nicaragua como tormenta de categoría 4 el 3 de noviembre. Durante los próximos días, una de las más significativas tormentas que ha azotado el área en décadas, extendió su alcance a otras partes de la región. En Guatemala, al menos 50 personas han muerto, aunque ese total podría llegar a 150 personas a medida que continúen las evaluaciones y los esfuerzos de rescate. En Honduras, los días de lluvia devastaron cultivos y dañaron infraestructura como carreteras, puentes y fuentes de agua. Cientos de miles de personas en Centroamérica han sido desplazadas de sus hogares. De ellos, alrededor de 5,500 se encuentran en refugios de emergencia donde trabajan nuestros socios.
Several communities in Central America were among those impacted by Hurricane Eta, which reached Nicaragua as a Category 4 storm on November 3. Over the coming days, the storm--one of the most significant to hit the area in decades-- extended reach to other parts of the region as well. In Guatemala, at least 50 people have died--though that total could reach up to 150 people as assessments and rescue efforts continue. In Honduras, days of rain devastated crops and damaged infrastructure such as roads, bridges and water sources. Hundreds of thousands of people across Central America have been displaced from their homes. Of these, about 5,500 are in emergency shelters where our partners are working.