UMCOR Prepares for Hurricane Irma
Hurricane Irma has become one of the most powerful hurricanes ever recorded in the Atlantic, a category 5 hurricane with sustained winds of 295 km/hour. As of September 11, it has passed over Barbuda, Saint Barthelemy, Anguilla, Saint Marten, British and U.S. Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, Haiti, Turks and Caicos, Cuba, the Bahamas and currently passing through Florida with Georgia in line. Extensive damage has been reported in Barbuda and Anguilla where 70-90% of the buildings were destroyed. 27 people reported dead across affected territories, 34,000 people displaced in the Dominican Republic and Haiti. Over 1 million people were evacuated along the coastline in central and eastern Cuba. 17,000 people are in need of immediate shelter across the affected eastern Caribbean islands.
Assessments will take place over the coming days to determine the number of people in need of food assistance. More than 10,000 people are in temporary shelters in the North. The damage to the Dominican Republic was less than expected, with no fatalities reported. There is damage to water infrastructure that affects 1.2 million people, according to the national water authorities. Livelihoods in affected communities are anticipated to be an area of need when recovery efforts begin. Widespread flooding has been recorded in northern Cuba including Havana. Concerns have been raised about possible waterborne disease outbreaks as flooding is likely to persist for 36 hours at least. Most of the coastal municipalities in affected countries are without electricity.
Given the level of damage so far, Haiti and Cuba are likely to be our first areas of response outside of the U.S. and U.S. territories. This is because of the significant level of damage and our Methodist connections in these countries. We are awaiting response from MCCA about support to Barbuda and Anguilla. UMCOR will continue to monitor Irma’s impact on the Caribbean and provide updates here. Please consider making a generous donation to UMCOR’s International disaster recovery work.
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NOTE: Wisconsin individuals should follow same instruction as above. However, if you would like your donation designated to a specific area, feel free to write Texas or Florida in the memo as well. Then place the check in your United Methodist Church offering plate or give to your church treasurer. Your church and Annual Conference will get advance credit for the gift.
Disaster Relief: Monetary donations can be sent to the Wisconsin Conference Treasurer, 750 Windsor St., Sun Prairie, WI 53590. Please write the check to Wisconsin Conference Treasurer, with NW Disaster Recovery #7775 in memo line. Any questions call: Asst. Disaster Response Coordinator Lynette Jordan at 262-370-0707 or Lynnette.firstname.lastname@example.org.
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UMCOR (United Methodist Committee on Relief)
Compelled by Christ to be a voice of conscience on behalf of the people called Methodists. UMCOR works globally to alleviate human suffering and advance hope and healing.
Methodism’s founder John Wesley encouraged his followers to spread the good news, transform hopelessness into hope and assist God’s children wherever they may be. Through a carefully crafted system of United Methodist mission and ministry, our gifts stretch around the world.
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