Hurricane Ida and fierce rains caused disastrous flooding and mudslides in Nicaragua, El Salvador and Mexico. An emergency airlift of additional medical aid is bound for El Salvador today and other relief is being distributed throughout the region. Hurricane and Tropical Storm warnings have been lifted in the United States, but AmeriCares continues to monitor heavy rains from Florida to Georgia.
El Salvador was affected by fierce rain and was drenched by nearly 2 feet of rain in five hours, causing flash floods and mudslides that have killed over 140 people. At least 60 others are still missing and 14,000 men, women and children are in shelters. An airlift slated to depart from AmeriCares today and is providing over $275,000 worth of critical medicines to treat flood-related infections and injuries typical in flood situations such as in El Salvador.
“AmeriCares experience with disaster relief and extensive ongoing work throughout Latin America helps us provide the right medications and supplies for specific health concerns facing the people of El Salvador in the aftermath of Hurricane Ida,” said Frank Bia, M.D., AmeriCares medical director.
AmeriCares relief workers and staff from the AmeriCares Family Clinic in Santiago de María are supporting emergency response efforts and are supporting additional efforts.
Hurricane Ida has caused torrential rains throughout the Gulf of Mexico. In Mexico, over 200,000 people have been evacuated and 20,000 have been left homeless. A massive shipment to Mexico from AmeriCares of ongoing medical aid worth $2.2 million recently arrived in Mexico and will help with the relief effort. The delivery of lifesaving medicines and medical supplies includes antibiotics, analgesics and wound treatment materials.
In Nicaragua, Hurricane Ida has also caused severe damage and nearly 100 deaths. To support disaster relief and medical aid in Nicaragua and as part of our ongoing work, AmeriCares recently shipped medicines and medical supplies to help people suffering from serious injuries, infections, severe pain, high fever, pneumonia and malnutrition. The deliveries also included surgical equipment and supplies, as well as personal hygiene items to improve infection control and prevention.
To support disaster preparedness in the United States, AmeriCares relief staff worked extensively throughout the Gulf Coast earlier this year to strengthen emergency response efforts. Hurricane Katrina taught hard lessons which have not been lost on the dedicated doctors, nurses and health care workers who serve millions of patients in the region.
"AmeriCares is prepared for Hurricane Ida and any other storm that comes our way," said Morgan White, United States program manager. "Our regular deliveries of medicines and supplies help our affiliate clinics treat people injured in disasters and enables them to take care of patients who need routine medical care. Just because there's a disaster doesn't mean people stop getting sick."
AmeriCares will continue to help survivors of the recent hurricanes, floods and mudslides in Latin America and the United States. We will also maintain our ability to deliver aid to others in desperate need around the world and here at home.
AmeriCares responds in times of sudden natural disasters, and works to provide lifesaving medicines and humanitarian relief to people in poor and conflict-ridden countries struggling daily for survival around the world.