CFCA helps families after Tropical Storm Agatha
June 2, 2010
Mudslides streak the mountains above the town of
San Lucas Toliman.
SAN LUCAS TOLIMAN, Guatemala — As CFCA staff continues to contact and help sponsored members and their families, five sponsored children have been confirmed dead in Guatemala and four are still missing in the aftermath of Tropical Storm Agatha.
Heavy rains caused mudslides Saturday evening in the rugged terrain of the San Antonio Palopo (SAP) subproject that led to the deaths of the children. CFCA staff and families are assisting in efforts to find the remaining missing children.
Major news outlets have reported that more than 175 people have died from the tropical storm with more than 100 people listed as missing or injured. The first official tropical storm of the season, Agatha struck Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador. Guatemala received the most damage from the storm, with more than 150 deaths.
CFCA is in the process of contacting sponsors of the deceased children, and their names will be released once the process is completed. There have been no other reports of deaths of sponsored members or staff as a result of the storm.
Staff members in Guatemala are still contacting families and assessing damages in the Atitlan and Hermano Pedro projects. CFCA serves nearly 85,000 sponsored members and their families in these communities.
“Our programs are part of the communities we serve, so when a disaster occurs like this, we all feel the impact to our sponsored communities, families and project staff,” Paul Pearce, director of international programs, said. “We are in deep mourning for the loss of sponsored members. Our daily thoughts, love and prayers need to be the foundation of our loving response.”
In Honduras, the president declared a state of emergency. In CFCA’s Suyapa project, which is located in the capital, Tegucigalpa, 20 families lost all their belongings, and two families lost their homes.
Katy Jessenia Molina, a Honduras subproject coordinator, said communities in the area of El Progreso and Santa Barbara have reported that water from the storm has created threatening conditions for families.
"At this moment, some communities are isolated because of the flooding of the river Ulua,” Molina said. “Some of the sponsored families have to cross the river in canoes and some other ones are trying to put sand bags near their homes to avoid the water entering them.”
In El Salvador, school classes were canceled and 16 sponsored families were evacuated as a precautionary measure in the area of Ataco, southwest of Santa Ana. CFCA staff members in the area have provided blankets, sleeping pads and food.
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