At least 80 die in flooding; illnesses already breaking out

By October 18, 2011

Guatemala (MNN) — Torrential rains in Central America are unceasing. According to Reliefweb, more than 85,000 have been affected in Guatemala and El Salvador combined, which have been hit harder than any other nations. The BBC reports that the weather has accounted for at least 80 lives lost in the two neighboring countries.

Guatemala is under water in several areas. "We've had about three weeks of rain, and there've been floods in different areas of the country," Gloria Caceres with Orphan Outreach tells us from Guatemala. "There've been about 17,000 people that have damages all over the country."

Orphan Outreach has not been directly affected so far–a fortunate feat since the ministry had a team there in the midst of storms just last week. But thousands around them have lost their homes or have been forced to flee. Caceres reports that entire communities have been wiped out and will need to relocate.

So far, the government has been unable to keep up with the relief and relocation efforts. The rain has yet to stop.

The longer clean-up processes take, the more potential for further disaster. Illnesses are already cropping up around the nation.

"We're still under Red Alert," notes Caceres. She says that many people "are already suffering from respiratory issues and have colds, and it might possibly turn into pneumonia due to the weather."

Diseases are frequent house-guests of major floods. Fortunately, Orphan Outreach is prepared to take on that challenge. The short-term team that was in the country last week not only was able to treat 500 patients with various conditions then, but they were also able to leave ongoing aid as they left.

"They were able to leave a lot of medicine that I'm going to relocate, and hopefully some of the affected people will get some of that medicine," says Caceres.

More than that, they were able to spread the Gospel to hundreds of children and adults. Pray that Orphan Outreach would be able to continue spreading Christ's love as they dispense the medicine.

Orphan Outreach has a school, a few orphanages, a clinic, and more in Guatemala. You can learn more about their work or support it when you click here.

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