Amidst a wave of global disasters, the Red Cross helps the world
Over the past week, the global network of the Red Cross has responded to disasters around the world. National Societies and members of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) team are rolling up their sleeves to help those in need following earthquakes, typhoon, hurricane, population movements, mudslides and the ongoing hunger crisis in Africa. While the challenges of the moment are great, the teams are committed to providing urgent and vital assistance.
On September 21, Fiona, a Category 3 hurricane, continued to cross the Atlantic Ocean towards Bermuda. International Red Cross teams are preparing for and responding to rapidly changing situations in the Dominican Republic, Turks and Caicos Islands, Bahamas and Bermuda. On the ground, teams from the British Red Cross and the Bahamas Red Cross are helping to evacuate vulnerable populations. The Red Cross has opened shelters and remains in contact with local authorities as the impacts of the storm are still being assessed.
Landslides in Costa Rica
On September 18, heavy rains and downpours flooded Costa Rica, causing deadly mudslides. A bus and two other vehicles crashed into landslide debris on El Hundimiento mountain in Alajuela province, killing at least 9 people. The Costa Rican Red Cross said more than 30 people had been rescued, some injured, and taken to a nearby hospital. Search teams with sniffer dogs worked at the site looking for possible missing passengers. As the Cañas River overflowed, affecting hundreds of people, relief centers were set up to house displaced families. Red Cross teams are working with local authorities to help with evacuations and rescue activities.
Migration in Central America
As migration increases in Central America, Red Cross teams are on the ground providing life-saving care to people in need. The International Federation of the Red Cross (IFRC) estimates that 500,000 people moving along migration routes in Central America and Mexico may need humanitarian assistance over the next 12 months. Red Cross teams are working to provide health care, psychosocial support, access to water and sanitation services. The Red Cross also works with origin, transit and host communities to address environmental, climate and livelihood issues that may trigger population movements.
The earthquake in Mexico
A magnitude 7.7 earthquake struck near La Placita de Morelos in western Mexico on September 19. Mexican Red Cross relief teams continue to monitor the situation and gather information in Guerrero, Oaxaca, Jalisco, Michoacán, Puebla, Colima, Hidalgo, Querétaro and Mexico City, the areas affected by the earthquake. Red Cross volunteers reported damaged buildings and cracks in houses as well as a shaken population. Mexican Red Cross relief teams, in close coordination with national and local authorities, continue to assess the damage caused by the earthquake in rural and urban areas. In Mexico City, 19 ambulances and 57 paramedics remain on call and ready to support the affected population.
Typhoon in Japan
The Japanese Red Cross responds to urgent needs in the aftermath of Typhoon Nanmadol. The super typhoon, which made landfall on September 18, killed at least four people and injured more than 100 others after making landfall on the southern Japanese island of Kyushu. More than 12,000 people took refuge in evacuation centers and more than 140,000 homes were still without electricity as of September 20. The super typhoon, which is equivalent to a category 4 or 5 hurricane, brought gusts of up to 145 mph, destroying homes and disrupting transport and businesses.
Hunger crisis in Africa
The Red Cross is currently focused on providing life-saving humanitarian aid following the hunger crisis in Africa. Red Cross teams are working to provide cash to families to meet their food, sanitation and other urgent needs. Red Cross teams hope to reach five million people in 12 countries: Ethiopia, Kenya, Sudan, South Sudan, Somalia, Nigeria, Niger, Angola, Burkina Faso, Zimbabwe, DRC and Madagascar. The Red Cross is working to meet the most basic needs, including access to water, sanitation and hygiene services, and to protect the livelihoods of people affected by the crisis.