Sunday, October 16, 2005

CRS Responds to Natural Disasters in Latin America and South Asia

Central America & Mexico:
On October 1, Tropical Storm Stan made landfall on the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico bringing with it heavy rains resulting in severe flooding and landslides throughout El Salvador, Guatemala, southern Mexico, Nicaragua and Honduras.

El Salvador has been the hardest hit as it was also impacted by the eruption of the Santa Ana volcano and earthquakes. The current death toll is 69 and 72,000 people have been evacuated. In Guatemala, the rains caused massive mudslides and flooding along the Pacific coast and in the Southwest region. The death toll currently stands at 652 with hundreds more missing and 107,000 people have been evacuated. In Mexico, approximately 2.2 million people have been affected with 23 confirmed deaths. In Nicaragua and Honduras, the damage has not been as extensive but more than 1,500 people have been affected with damage to their homes and crops.

CRS has been working with Caritas and local partners to provide emergency relief including blankets, mattresses, hygiene kits, food and potable water and shelter.

South Asia:
On October 8, a magnitude 7.6 earthquake was recorded in the mountains of Pakistani Kashmir. Massive destruction has been reported and many villages have been completely destroyed. Current estimates place the death toll at between 35,000 and 40,000 but the numbers are expected to rise as rescuers reach additional areas that are not yet accessible.

The impact was also felt in Indian Kashmir with 1,300 confirmed deaths and 5,800 reported injured. Dozens of villages, home to 12,000 people remain inaccessible, so it is expected that the death toll will rise. About 30,000 homes have been destroyed or significantly damaged.

CRS has committed $2 million to the relief efforts in Pakistan and India. In the North West Frontier Province of Pakistan, CRS staff were on the ground at the time of the earthquake and were among the first conducting assessments as well as providing blankets, tarps, and water-cans.

  • Continue to keep all people affected by this crisis in your prayers.
  • CRS is seeking cash donations that will be used to provide immediate relief and to assist in the long-term rehabilitation of the areas. Contributions can be sent to: Catholic Relief Services, P.O. Box 17090, Baltimore, MD 21203-7090. Checks should be clearly marked either "Latin America Severe Weather" or "South Asia Earthquake."
  • To keep abreast of the most current information about relief efforts, visit


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