Red Cross delivers relief aid to people affected by Hurricane Wilma

Published: 24 October 2005

Hundreds of Mexican Red Cross volunteers have evacuated survivors, given first aid and provided emergency supplies to people in areas devastated by Hurricane Wilma.

After two days in Mexico, Hurricane Wilma has left massive destruction in Yucatan Peninsula and Quintana Roo. It has blown away roofs, destroyed concrete structures, electrical and phone lines are down or damaged. It is estimated that around one million people have been affected and at least 300,000 have lost everything.

A plane chartered by the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies and loaded with relief goods will arrive today on the Yucatan Peninsula carrying hygiene articles, kitchen sets and tarpaulins for people affected by Hurricane Wilma.

Since the beginning of the operation the Mexican Red Cross has deployed 10 flights with 28 tones of food and relief goods to affected Yucatan. The Mexican Red Cross is also providing health care in the different shelters.

“The Mexican Red Cross in Cancun has been on full alert and working around the clock since Wilma hit. Volunteers continue to perform outstanding work in the field and are providing Hurricane Wilma victims with first aid” said Alexandre Claudon, International Federation’s Disaster Management Delegate currently supporting Operation Wilma in Mexico.

The International Federation has released 220,000 CHF from its Disaster Relief Emergency Fund to support those countries affected by Wilma.

Wilma will reach the United States today. In Florida, the American Red Cross is on high alert and 27 shelters have been opened in the areas that may be affected. The American Red Cross has mobilized six Emergency Response Vehicles, mobile kitchens, shelter support trailers, relief supplies, and two emergency communications vehicles. Around 860 Red Cross trained response staff and volunteers are working in this emergency.

A new tropical storm Alpha, has already affected Haiti and the Dominican Republic and it is passing through the Bahamas, Turks and Caicos Islands. Red Cross volunteers are completing damage assessments and have been evacuating people and distributing food and relief items.