Laura Blank 646.245.2496
June 1, 2010
Rains from Tropical Storm Agatha are expected to continue throughout this week, complicating clean up and recovery efforts from both the storm and last week's volcano. The current activity from the volcano is low but scientists have not ruled out another eruption and many nearby towns remain on alert. World Vision is evacuating families in eight of its communities and will take them to a nearby Catholic church that is operating as an emergency shelter. Staff are also providing emergency supplies like blankets and food to those in need. In Chimaltenango and elsewhere, many roads and bridges are damaged or completely washed out, making it difficult for staff to get to affected areas. In addition, electricity is out in several affected communities,including San Raymundo.
World Vision's emergency assessment in the communities where it operates found the following: 260 people affected, 105 houses damaged and 150 people evacuated to safer areas. World Vision's emergency team is responding to four communities most-affected by the storm. The team is coordinating with the World Food Programme to provide emergency food supplies to families in need.
World Vision's emergency team reports that several communities have flooded and some are inaccessible because of flooding, mudslides. In addition, at least 180 people in the communities where World Vision works have been evacuated. World Vision has distributed clothing to those in need and is working with the Ministry of Health to coordinate medical care for the injured.
Weather reports predicting Tropical Storm Agatha will dissipate by Tuesday but rains could continue in some regions of the country. The government is reporting more than 8,000 people have been evacuated from their homes. World Vision's emergency team is currently in the field conducting a rapid assessment to determine the needs of the affected communities. Preliminary reports from local staff say that access to some communities is difficult because of mud slides, fallen trees and flooding. Some families in high-risk communities have been evacuated.
World Vision is a Christian humanitarian organization dedicated to working with children, families and their communities worldwide to reach their full potential by tackling the causes of poverty and injustice. World Vision serves all people, regardless of religion, race, ethnicity or gender. For more information, please visit www.worldvision.org/press.