The Salvation Army Responds to Destructive Hurricane Season
3 November 2017
THE 2017 hurricane season has been particularly destructive for the Caribbean, Central America and the southern parts of the USA, with Salvation Army responders being stretched beyond what they thought they were capable of.
Tropical Storm Harvey formed on 17 August east of Barbados, strengthened to a category 4 hurricane and made landfall in Texas on 25 August, causing huge damage, particularly in and around Houston.
On 30 August Tropical Storm Irma formed west of Cabo Verde Islands, increased to a category 5 hurricane and hit Antigua, Barbuda, St Martin, Sint Maarten, Anguilla, St Kitts and Nevis, US Virgin Islands, and
Before Irma had fully died away, Tropical Storm Jose formed on 5 September, becoming a category 4 hurricane.
A day later Tropical Storm Katia formed in the
Tropical Storm Maria formed on 16 September and rapidly intensified to a category 5 hurricane, hitting Dominica on the 18th, Puerto Rico on the 20th and Turks and Caicos on the 22nd. The death toll from Maria is at least 48 people in Puerto Rico and at least 15 in Dominica. Ninety per cent of the buildings in Dominica sustained damage and schoolchildren were evacuated to Antigua and Bahamas to attend schools there.
On 5 October Tropical Storm Nate formed near the coast of Nicaragua. At least 28 people were killed after Nate passed over Costa Rica, Nicaragua and Honduras.
The response to this widespread devastation has involved Salvation Army relief teams and local Salvationists and friends from across the region.
- The Caribbean Territory responded to the recent hurricanes in Bahamas, Turks and Caicos, Antigua and Barbuda, Sint Maarten, St Kitts and Nevis and Dominica.
- The Latin America North Territory is providing relief in Cuba and Costa Rica.
- The Mexico Territory responded to Hurricane Katia.
- The USA Southern and Eastern Territories are still operating in Texas, Puerto Rico, the US Virgin Islands and Florida (go to http://salvationarmysouth.org/news/ and https://saconnects.org for up-to-date information).
In many of the affected places The Salvation Army has been providing hot meals, sometimes through mobile canteens and at other times cooked in the Salvation Army kitchens and transported to evacuation centres.
Two months after Hurricane Irma laid waste to their island, 95 per cent of Barbudans
After Hurricane Irma hit Sint Maarten, The Salvation Army hosted 35 people at the corps for three days and another 45 when the warning came that Hurricane Maria was imminent.
In Mexico, 200 meals were provided daily for four days after hurricane Katia hit. In addition, 120 families received a food parcel. This was also during a time that the Mexico Territory was responding to earthquakes in Mexico City and off the southern coast.
In addition to food, The Salvation Army also gives out non-food items such as mattresses, tarpaulins, hygiene kits, cleaning kits, flashlights and blankets. So far, 250 families have been supported with such items in Sint Maarten, 130 in Dominica, 20 on St Kitts and Nevis and many more in Turks and Caicos, Cuba, Costa Rica and other places, often in partnership with organisations such as Samaritans Purse, Hope for Haiti and others.
The relief phase is almost over in most of the places hit by these recent hurricanes and the needs of the affected people are turning towards recovery support. Thousands of houses and a lot of
The Salvation Army will continue to provide support and assist affected communities in restarting their lives and getting back to a sense of normality.
Donations can be made online at sar.my/
From a report by IHQ Emergency Services