ALERT: Casa Alianza Honduras seeks aid for hurricane victims

Tom Boland (wgcp@earthlink.net)
Fri, 6 Nov 1998 05:50:02 -0400


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=46WD  CC Replies to <owner-rapid-response@casa-alianza.org>
[Note: Casa Alianza is the Latin American branch of Covenant House]
Subject. Update on Central American situation


PRESS RELEASE
NOVEMBER 4TH,1998.

CHILDREN STILL AT SEVERE RISK FROM FALL OUT OF HURRICANE MITCH.


The Honduran capital Tegucigalpa remains devastated in the wake
of hurricane Mitch which has rocked the country killing 7,000 and
left an estimated 12, 000 people missing in Honduras and
neighbouring Nicaragua.

"We have before us a panorama of death, desolation and ruin
throughout the national territory," commented Honduran
President Carlos Flores Facusse yesterday.  A state of
emergency has been declared and a curfew imposed in order to try
and prevent further looting and restore order to the capital which,
according to some reports, looks like it has been hit by an atom
bomb.

Amidst this chaos Casa Alianza continues to try and care for the
children within our programmes, while street educators scour the
streets looking for scores of children who we fear may have
drowned.

Our crisis centre remains evacuated and the children we had there
continue living in makeshift conditions, along with hundreds of other
people made homeless, in the "Universidad Pedagogica". However,
due to the desperate nature of the situation we have been forced to
use the crisis centre to house 20 street children, who aren=EDt part of
Casa Alianza=EDs residential programmes. We have done this despite
the fact that the Honduran authorities have classified the centre as
being in a high risk zone and that waters from the Choluteca River,
which remains 20 meters higher than normal, are just 15 meters
away.

"We are praying that the waters won't rise any higher and that the
road, the one thing separating the kids from the river, doesn=EDt
become flooded too," commented Bruce Harris Executive Director
of Casa Alianza Latin America.

"People are watching the river's levels 24 hours a day and we are
ready to run with the kids if it becomes necessary," he continued.

The group home "San Pedro" remains evacuated and another of our
group homes =ECSanta Teresa=EE is still inaccessible.

However, one of our greatest concerns continues to be for the
street children who are not within Casa Alianza's residential
programmes. Casa Alianza is in contact with almost a thousand
different street kids in Tegucigalpa each year and while we can
account for all of the children within our programmes, it remains to
be seen how many of these children will have been hurt or killed.

Casa Alianza's educators continue to make daily street checks,
while also visiting local morgues and hospitals.

Casa Alianza has begun working with other local groups in order to
try and recover from this catastrophe; we have been able to  provide
coffins, usually reserved for street children, to three little girls who
tragically became part of the country's national death toll.

We are also hoping that some of our children will be able to help in
the construction of dams.

The main problems which continue to plague the country are a lack
of water, electricity and basic food stuffs. With 50,000 people left
homeless the greatest fears now are related to health. Already
dengue fever, conjunctivitis, diarrhoea and skin allergies from filthy
water are being reported.

Thanks to your generous donations Casa Alianza Honduras has
been able to buy an electricty generator which has permitted us to
continue with basic work. However, the place remains in disarray,
and we are asking for your help in whatever way possible. We ask
you to continue praying for the safety of the street children. Also if
you can, please help us with emergency funding. There is also the
distinct possibility that we will have to build another group home to
replace =ECSan Pedro=EE following this natural disaster.

Its calculated that more than 1 million Hondurans have lost
everything in a country of 6 million. 70 percent of the Honduran
banana producing east coast are under water. Government officials
estimate it will take $2 billion US for the Honduran economy to
begin to recover. An estimated 50 per cent of the country=EDs
livestock have perished. Vice President Billy Handal said
yesterday, "Hurricane Fifi was nothing compared to this. It took 12
to 14 years of  effort to overcome Fifi. This one will take 30 or 40
years."

If you can make an immediate bank to bank transfer, we are
collecting the funds in Costa Rica as the Honduran banks remain
closed. We will hand carry cash to Honduras. The bank
information is:

Bank Name=0E: Banco Credito Agricola de Cartago (Tel +506 225-
6948)
Bank Branch=0E: Sucursal San Jose, Costa Rica, Central America.
Account Name Casa Alianza International
Account no=0E: 1509890065
Aba number 019199

If you would like to send clothes, medical supplies, tinned food,
powdered milk etc. please contact us and we will put you in touch
with your closest Casa Alianza or Covenant House who will be able
to co-ordinate the sending of supplies. For more information please
write to <media@casa-alianza.org> or <analara@casa-alianza.org>

In Guatemala, where to date 186 people have lost their lives and a
state of emergency has been declared, our programmes have been
able to continue although under very difficult circumstances. We
are trying to dam all of our group homes as best as possible. Many
of our staff members have been affected and suffered personal
looses.

In the country as a whole  46 thousand people have been
evacuated from their homes and 27 thousand are being put up in
temporary shelters. 90 thousand people reported to be in a high
risk situation.

Around 75 landslides are known to have obstructed different routes
throughout the country and at least 21 bridges have been
destroyed. The landslides have isolated the capital from the rest of
the country and other principal cities in the north and east.

In Nicaragua our operations continue more or less as normal.

However, as in Guatemala, we are taking action to protect out
crisis centre and ensure that the children we visit on the streets are
not in immediate danger.

In Nicaragua the authorities say they may have to turn the Casita
volcano area, where mudslides destroyed whole communities, into
a =ECnational cemetery.''  Rescue workers can't retrieve bodies buried
in the mud around the volcano, about 100 kilometres north of
Managua, and are preparing to begin burning an estimated 2,000
corpses.

There is no water, no electricity and we are medical supplies are
running out.

Mitch, whose speeds and winds have receded into a tropical storm,
has passed to the north-west and is now located in southern
Mexico. However, according to meteorological reports Mitch could
be intensifying again. The whole of Central America continues to
suffer intense torrential rains. Mitch is being described as the fourth
most powerful Atlantic hurricane on record.
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If you wish to unsubscribe from this list, send a
message with the text "unsubscribe rapid-response" to the
following address:  "rapid-response-request@casa-alianza.org"
--------------------------------------------------------------
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
Streetkid-L Resource Page:  http://www.jbu.edu/business/sk.html
Listowner: jwalenci@acc.jbu.edu, John Brown University
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

END FORWARD
HOMELESS PEOPLE'S NETWORK  <http://aspin.asu.edu/hpn/>  Home Page
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=46WD  CC Replies to <<owner-rapid-response@casa-alianza.org>=20

<paraindent><param>right,left</param>[Note: Casa Alianza is the Latin
American branch of Covenant House]

Subject. Update on Central American situation

</paraindent>


PRESS RELEASE=20

NOVEMBER 4TH,1998.


CHILDREN STILL AT SEVERE RISK FROM FALL OUT OF HURRICANE MITCH.=20



The Honduran capital Tegucigalpa remains devastated in the wake=20

of hurricane Mitch which has rocked the country killing 7,000 and=20

left an estimated 12, 000 people missing in Honduras and=20

neighbouring Nicaragua. =20


"We have before us a panorama of death, desolation and ruin   =20

throughout the national territory," commented Honduran   =20

President Carlos Flores Facusse yesterday.  A state of  =20

emergency has been declared and a curfew imposed in order to try=20

and prevent further looting and restore order to the capital which,=20

according to some reports, looks like it has been hit by an atom=20

bomb.


Amidst this chaos Casa Alianza continues to try and care for the=20

children within our programmes, while street educators scour the=20

streets looking for scores of children who we fear may have=20

drowned.=20


Our crisis centre remains evacuated and the children we had there=20

continue living in makeshift conditions, along with hundreds of other=20

people made homeless, in the "Universidad Pedagogica". However,=20

due to the desperate nature of the situation we have been forced to

use the crisis centre to house 20 street children, who aren=EDt part of

Casa Alianza=EDs residential programmes. We have done this despite=20

the fact that the Honduran authorities have classified the centre as=20

being in a high risk zone and that waters from the Choluteca River,=20

which remains 20 meters higher than normal, are just 15 meters=20

away.=20


"We are praying that the waters won't rise any higher and that the=20

road, the one thing separating the kids from the river, doesn=EDt=20

become flooded too," commented Bruce Harris Executive Director=20

of Casa Alianza Latin America.=20


"People are watching the river's levels 24 hours a day and we are=20

ready to run with the kids if it becomes necessary," he continued.


The group home "San Pedro" remains evacuated and another of our=20

group homes =ECSanta Teresa=EE is still inaccessible.=20


However, one of our greatest concerns continues to be for the=20

street children who are not within Casa Alianza's residential=20

programmes. Casa Alianza is in contact with almost a thousand=20

different street kids in Tegucigalpa each year and while we can=20

account for all of the children within our programmes, it remains to

be seen how many of these children will have been hurt or killed.=20


Casa Alianza's educators continue to make daily street checks,=20

while also visiting local morgues and hospitals.


Casa Alianza has begun working with other local groups in order to=20

try and recover from this catastrophe; we have been able to  provide=20

coffins, usually reserved for street children, to three little girls
who=20

tragically became part of the country's national death toll.

   =20

We are also hoping that some of our children will be able to help in=20

the construction of dams.=20


The main problems which continue to plague the country are a lack=20

of water, electricity and basic food stuffs. With 50,000 people left=20

homeless the greatest fears now are related to health. Already=20

dengue fever, conjunctivitis, diarrhoea and skin allergies from filthy


water are being reported. =20


Thanks to your generous donations Casa Alianza Honduras has=20

been able to buy an electricty generator which has permitted us to=20

continue with basic work. However, the place remains in disarray,=20

and we are asking for your help in whatever way possible. We ask=20

you to continue praying for the safety of the street children. Also if


you can, please help us with emergency funding. There is also the=20

distinct possibility that we will have to build another group home to=20

replace =ECSan Pedro=EE following this natural disaster.


Its calculated that more than 1 million Hondurans have lost=20

everything in a country of 6 million. 70 percent of the Honduran=20

banana producing east coast are under water. Government officials=20

estimate it will take $2 billion US for the Honduran economy to=20

begin to recover. An estimated 50 per cent of the country=EDs=20

livestock have perished. Vice President Billy Handal said=20

yesterday, "Hurricane Fifi was nothing compared to this. It took 12=20

to 14 years of  effort to overcome Fifi. This one will take 30 or 40=20

years."


If you can make an immediate bank to bank transfer, we are=20

collecting the funds in Costa Rica as the Honduran banks remain=20

closed. We will hand carry cash to Honduras. The bank    =20

information is:


Bank Name=0E: Banco Credito Agricola de Cartago (Tel +506 225-

6948)

Bank Branch=0E: Sucursal San Jose, Costa Rica, Central America.

Account Name Casa Alianza International

Account no=0E: 1509890065

Aba number 019199


If you would like to send clothes, medical supplies, tinned food,=20

powdered milk etc. please contact us and we will put you in touch=20

with your closest Casa Alianza or Covenant House who will be able=20

to co-ordinate the sending of supplies. For more information please=20

write to <<media@casa-alianza.org> or <<analara@casa-alianza.org>


In Guatemala, where to date 186 people have lost their lives and a

state of emergency has been declared, our programmes have been=20

able to continue although under very difficult circumstances. We=20

are trying to dam all of our group homes as best as possible. Many=20

of our staff members have been affected and suffered personal=20

looses.=20


In the country as a whole  46 thousand people have been=20

evacuated from their homes and 27 thousand are being put up in=20

temporary shelters. 90 thousand people reported to be in a high=20

risk situation.=20


Around 75 landslides are known to have obstructed different routes=20

throughout the country and at least 21 bridges have been=20

destroyed. The landslides have isolated the capital from the rest of=20

the country and other principal cities in the north and east.=20


In Nicaragua our operations continue more or less as normal.=20


However, as in Guatemala, we are taking action to protect out=20

crisis centre and ensure that the children we visit on the streets are


not in immediate danger.=20


In Nicaragua the authorities say they may have to turn the Casita=20

volcano area, where mudslides destroyed whole communities, into=20

a =ECnational cemetery.''  Rescue workers can't retrieve bodies buried=20

in the mud around the volcano, about 100 kilometres north of=20

Managua, and are preparing to begin burning an estimated 2,000=20

corpses.


There is no water, no electricity and we are medical supplies are =20

running out.=20


Mitch, whose speeds and winds have receded into a tropical storm,=20

has passed to the north-west and is now located in southern=20

Mexico. However, according to meteorological reports Mitch could=20

be intensifying again. The whole of Central America continues to=20

suffer intense torrential rains. Mitch is being described as the fourth


most powerful Atlantic hurricane on record.

--------------------------------------------------------------

If you wish to unsubscribe from this list, send a

message with the text "unsubscribe rapid-response" to the

following address:  "rapid-response-request@casa-alianza.org"

--------------------------------------------------------------

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Streetkid-L Resource Page:  http://www.jbu.edu/business/sk.html

Listowner: jwalenci@acc.jbu.edu, John Brown University

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++


END FORWARD

HOMELESS PEOPLE'S NETWORK  <<http://aspin.asu.edu/hpn/>  Home Page

ARCHIVES  <<http://aspin.asu.edu/hpn/archives.html>  read posts to HPN

TO JOIN  <<http://aspin.asu.edu/hpn/join.html> or email Tom <<wgcp@earthlink=
=2Enet>

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