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Mexico’s Katrina – No US Government Humanitarian Aid

November 4, 2007


Thousands of people perched on roofs in southern Mexico on Saturday, desperate to be evacuated from flooding caused by heavy rains that have left most of Tabasco State under water and 800,000 people homeless. But in the largely impoverished southern state of Chiapas, local media said four people had died after rain-swollen rivers burst their banks, damaging 5,000 homes and 16 bridges.

Local navy commander Sergio Lara said 28,000 people had been evacuated as army and navy teams worked through Saturday to airlift people out or reach them by boat, despite problems with fog and rain and with flood victims trying to grab onto hovering helicopters.

“… today a helicopter almost fell down because of the people desperate to reach provisions,” said Jorge Camacho, a civil protection director from the northern state of Nuevo Leon. With electricity and drinking water cut off in much of the state, and fixed-line and cellular telephone networks down, several thousand Tabascans fled on buses on Friday to the neighboring states of Veracruz and Campeche.

Tabasco Gov. Andres Granier, opened up his government offices as a refuge, … . People and livestock swam through streets in neck-high, murky brown water on Friday after floodwaters burst through sandbag barriers into Villahermosa, home to about half a million people.

President Felipe Calderon called the situation critical as flood levels reached 19 feet in some areas, and food supplies were trucked in from across the country.

The storms also disrupted Mexico’s oil shipments to the United States for most of the week, although state energy monopoly Pemex reported no impact on its oil wells in Tabasco. Oh, OK, that’s why the US Government is slow to respond.

Granier said more than 1 million people, about half of the state’s population, were affected by the flooding. On Saturday he imposed a temporary ban on alcohol sales in parts of the state because of the disaster.

I keep looking for the United States to send Humanitarian Aid to Mexico. Sad to see the ‘blank page’ on the UN web page Mexico: Humanitarian Aid and Relief. It is sad to see the US ignoring the plight of its neighbor, allowing private non-profits to pick up the slack.

Recent Memories: Mexican response to Hurricane Katrina

Kelly Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas received almost 196 Mexican troops, 14 truckloads of water, a mobile surgical unit, 45 military vehicles, 3 tons of purified water, and more than 250 tons of food, bottled water, canned food, disposable diapers and medical supplies. The Mexican Government sent $1 million through the Mexican Red Cross which collected an additional million, as well as 200 tons of food delivered in five airplanes from the Mexican Air Force by another Mexican Government body. The Mexican Navy sent two ships, 385 troopers, eight all-terrain vehicles, seven amphibious vehicles, two tankers, two helicopters, radio communication equipment, medical personnel and 296 tons of food as well. The state of Jalisco also sent four experts in disaster, while the Federal government offered to send expert teams in epidemiology and to cover the costs of returning any Mexican national back to Mexico.

“Mexico and the United States are nations which are neighbors and friends which should always have solidarity in moments of difficulty,” President Vicente Fox said.


Operation USA Appeals For Public Support To Aid Victims Of South Mexico Floods
Operation USA, a 28-year-old international relief agency based in Los Angeles, is appealing to the public and corporations to aid in response to the flooding in Southern Mexico.





Agency concerned about risk of disease; reaching 300,000 stranded people will take time. “This massive number of stranded people can only be reached via boats or helicopter, and rescuing them will take time,” said Aldo Pontecorvo, World Vision’s emergency response director in Mexico. “Meanwhile, children are at especially high risks of dengue, cholera and mosquito-borne diseases.”

World Vision is sending an estimated 40 metric tons of soap, shampoo, sanitary towels, toilet paper, powdered detergent and liquid cleaner to Villahermosa in Tabasco state, although flooded roadways may cause delays. The agency plans to increase its response in the coming days.


medicalteams.jpgMedical Teams International staff head to Mexico’s floods

(PORTLAND, ORE.) With nearly 1 million people affected by flooding in the Mexico Gulf state of Tabasco, Medical Teams International is sending two relief workers to the water-logged region this Sunday.


catholicreleif.gifCatholic Relief Services commits $1.5 million to Mexico and Caribbean Flood Response

Catholic Relief Services (CRS) today announced an initial commitment of $1.5 million toward emergency relief and recovery assistance for thousands of people affected by a series of storms that caused the worst flooding in Mexico’s history and tore through the Dominican Republic, Haiti and Cuba.
Mexico Under Water
As emergency response teams continue to rescue stranded civilians, the state government reports that about half a million people were made homeless as the floods destroyed tens of thousands of homes. More Give to The Fund For Mexico


When will the United States get off it’s butt and reach out to help it’s neighbor?



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