Relief teams adi victims of Mexico flooding
Salvation Army responds as hundreds of thousands are left homeless.
In Tabasco, Mexico, The Salvation Army helped victims of devastating floods that left 80 percent of the Gulf coast state under water, destroying or damaging the homes of over half a million people and decimating agriculture, the region’s chief source of income. Shelter, food, medicines, clothing and clean water were among the essential supplies that Salvation Army personnel distributed as they did all they could to meet people’s physical and spiritual needs.
As families in southern Mexico battled the rising floodwaters, Army relief teams were among the first to assist those forced from their homes. Colonel Olin O. Hogan, Western officer and leader of The Salvation Army in Mexico, reported: “From the earliest stages of the emergency in Tabasco’s capital, Villahermosa, Major Margarita Aleman and her soldiers have been assisting those affected by the rains.”
With most of the city flooded, The Salvation Army children’s home and other Army buildings were converted into shelters for displaced families. From there, relief teams prepared and distributed food to people trapped in their houses. The floods did not affect the children’s home.
As relief efforts increased, over 120 people from The Salvation Army participated—providing tens of thousands of meals. Army personnel from around the country supported their colleagues in the affected areas, dispatching volunteers and canteens. Mexico City sent two emergency canteens to the area. Cadets from the training college were also deployed with two more canteens.
Major Mike Caffull, international emergency field operations officer, commented: “The state of Tabasco is suffering its worst flooding in more than 50 years…It is impossible to comprehend the suffering and need caused by this terrible disaster.”
The Salvation Army is grateful to the stores and food chains that provided goods for people affected by this disaster. The Army also coordinated the distribution of medicines and clothing provided by the United Way. Churches in Mexico City united to collect goods; they, too, asked the Army to transport and coordinate the distribution of these goods.
Further funding is needed for more relief supplies. Donations to the Latin American Disaster Fund may be made at www.salvationarmy.org.