Mexico (MNN) — Hurricane Dean hit the shores of Mexico with 165 mile per hour winds (265 kpm). The hurricane hit just north of Chetumal, a city of about 150,000, flooding streets, blowing the roofs off houses, and battering resorts where tens of thousands of tourists and residents huddled in shelters. Water surged down a main street. Broken trees and street lights lay strewn around.
Damage by the category five storm isn't yet fully assessed, but Christians are on the front-lines.
World Vision is just one of the organizations standing by, says Luis Armenta, speaking from the Yucatan Peninsula. "Local authorities are more worried about the communities located in the south part of the state because they're located in the lowlands, which are very vulnerable to flooding."
The damage assessment began yesterday and will be an ongoing process, says Armenta. He says they'll be developing a response plan based on that assessment.
According to Armenta, World Vision is prepared. "Right now, we have in Mexico City some supplies such as blankets, sheets, personal hygiene items that could be moved to this part of the country. Also, we have some construction tools."
While it's good news that the hurricane hit less-populated areas, Armenta says that could also be a challenge. "These communities are very small. The houses are scattered around, and they're very fragile. So it's very probable that people have lost their homes."
As they help the victims, Armenta says as a Christian organization they're helping with more than physical needs. "This gives us an opportunity to give a practical witness of the love of Jesus. That way we can share the Good News."
While an assessment is in process, World Vision needs your financial support to help the victims. If you'd like to help, click here.