Explosion in Mexico

February 5, 2013

Following a major explosion in Polanco, Mexico, 35 ambulances and five rescue vehicles from the Mexican Red Cross have responded to a call for assistance. A rapid intervention unit specializing in Rescue in Collapsed Structures, which is equipped with critical lifesaving equipment  was also on scene.

Around 200 volunteers from the organization have been working together with other rescue teams to search, extract and transport the dead and injured in this tragic accident. At present 32 people have been rescued and transferred to nearby hospitals by Mexican Red Cross ambulances.

At the organization’s National Headquarters, Fernando Suinaga Cardenas highlighted the work being done by Red Cross paramedics despite the risks to their own lives.

“You are the hope of thousands of citizens, your work is essential when facing a tragedy such as this explosion in the Pemex building,” he said. “Not only because of the speed and efficiency with which you carry out your work, but also because of the quality and warmth you offer to the wounded, as part of our humanitarian principles.”

Press Release: American Red Cross Contributes $100,000 To Relief Efforts in Mexico

October 1, 2010

American Red Cross Contributes $100,000 To Relief Efforts in Mexico

WASHINGTON, Friday, October 1, 2010 – The American Red Cross has committed an initial $100,000 to relief efforts in Mexico, where record rainfall has devastated the country’s southern states, causing deadly landslides and leaving some areas under water.

The Mexican government has declared a state of disaster. Officials estimate as many as 100,000 families have been affected. As the rain and flooding continues, the damage may worsen in some already inundated areas, like Veracruz which has approximately six and a half feet of water. In the southern state of Oaxaca many people are already living in makeshift tents on hillsides after landslides ravaged the area.

The Mexican Red Cross has opened emergency centers in all regions and in all of its 486 branches across the country. It is assisting with search and rescue operations, evacuations, setting up emergency shelters, and distributing food and hygiene kits. Throughout the affected states, Red Cross emergency responders are preparing to provide tool kits and kitchen and clean-up kits. The American Red Cross is standing by, ready to send in supplies and personnel from its regional office in Central America if needed.

People with relatives in the area have contacted both the Mexican and American Red Cross, trying to find their loved ones. Both agencies are trying to help determine how and where residents of the affected areas are, and will work with the International Committee of the Red Cross to try to find answers to the families’ requests.

If someone would like to help, they can make a financial donation to the American Red Cross by clicking, calling, or sending a text – visit www.redcross.org, call 1-800-RED CROSS, or text the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation. These donations will help people affected by this disaster, emergencies here in the United States, and disasters around the world.

Tropical Storm Hermine

September 7, 2010

Hermine made landfall on Monday and is expected to affect the southern portion of the state with high winds and rain up to 12 inches in areas throughout Texas.  A Hurricane Watch and a Tropical Storm Warning is in effect. The storm is projected to move through the center of the state.

>> Hurricane Fast Facts

Ongoing Response Efforts for Hurricane Jimena

November 13, 2009

Gavin White is an American Red Cross disaster management delegate based out of Mexico City. He recently accompanied the Mexican Red Cross on a trip to provide relief to those impacted by Hurricane Jimena.

Santa Rosalia, Baja California Sur, was hit hard by the passage of Hurricane Jimena in September. Thousands of homes had their roofs torn off, while many others suffered from the sudden formation of rivers in this otherwise semi-desert town.

On a warm Tuesday afternoon, Red Cross needs assessment teams set out to identify those families still in need, knocking on doors to discuss with the residents of the poorer parts of town as to how their recovery efforts are going. The local government has been able to provide galvanized zinc sheeting to many of the affected families, but a surprising number of homes remain in bad shape.

As shown above, Mr. José Luis Muñoz explained to the team of assessors how he had to leave his home when the hurricane hit, fleeing with his family to stay with relatives. He has only been able to return now, and is starting to rebuild what is left of his home. He enthusiastically welcomed the Red Cross’s offer to provide him with roofing material, tools, mosquito nets, a kitchen set and home cleaning tools. As with all the other families in need, he was awarded a bracelet, to be exchange the next day for his recovery kit.

The distribution took place at 3 p.m. in the Santa Rosalia Yacht Club, graciously made available to the Red Cross, and by 2:30 several hundred people had gathered outside the center. By 9 p.m., over 900 families whose homes were battered by the winds and rains of Jimena had received a recovery kit to help them start anew.

The distribution that Gavin describes represents one small part of the local response efforts.
In Baja California Sur, the Mexican Red Cross has worked to provide relief to thousands of people:

  • Kitchen sets (1,500 families)
  • Roofing supplies (1,500 families)
  • Hygiene kits (1,500 families)
  • House cleaning kits (1,500 families)
  • Mosquito nets (1,500 families)

In Sonora, the Mexican Red Cross also distributed supplies where needed:

  • Roofing supplies (750 families)
  • Kitchen sets (1,500 families)
  • Hygiene kits (1,500 families)

With the assistance of an OFDA grant, the American Red Cross provided 7,800 relief items to the Mexican Red Cross, including hygiene kits, kitchen sets and reconstruction kits, for distribution to those most affected by the storm.


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