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.
“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.
Following Hurricane Laura, more than 70,000 people remain without power; several areas are under curfew because of debris, downed power lines, and lack of water and sewer. Now, there is a heat advisory for much of the affected area-- even as people begin working on clean-up with no electricity and limited access to water. The state of Louisiana has received a federal disaster declaration for public assistance, and six parishes (Louisiana counties) qualify for individual household assistance. Damage assessments are still in the early stages.
Multiple wildfires continue to burn across California, including three major fires surrounding the Bay Area. The SCU Fire, affecting the East Bay Area, has burned over 360k acres and is only 15% contained. The CZU Fire, affecting South Bay and Santa Cruz areas, has burned over 78k acres and is only 17% contained. Meanwhile, the LNU Fire, in Sonoma and Napa Counties, is over 350k acres, with 27% containment. Across the three incidents, more than 1500 structures have been damaged or destroyed.
Over the weekend, Typhoon Hagibis brought over 35 inches of rain causing catastrophic flooding in Tokyo and the surrounding region. As of October 15, The death toll is over 50 and may rise as rescue workers continue to search for the missing. Power outages and landslide risks are among the most urgent concerns at this time. We have heard from our partners in the area. All are safe, and they are assessing the situation. Week of Compassion will share updates about needs and responses as we learn more.
* * * *
In September of 2018, Hurricane Michael devastated communities along the Florida panhandle, causing severe damage in 12 counties and flooding in many others. Following the storm, Week of Compassion responded immediately through local partners and Disciples congregations to help meet urgent needs in the area.
But recovery does not happen overnight, especially after a storm as severe as Michael.