Flood tolls feared rising; Christians marshal response.

By May 28, 2004

Dominican Republic (MNN)–The news out of the Dominican Republic seems to be getting worse.

There are conflicting reports on how high the death toll is climbing after the Solie River burst its banks this week. Flash floods washed away hundreds of homes in both the Dominican Republic and across the border in Haiti.

The governments of both countries are estimating death tolls anywhere from a thousand to nearly twice that. The small shacks, made of little more than tin sheets and bricks, collapsed under the force of water and landslides after weeks of steady rain.

Food For The Hungry’s Tamera Dutch says their assessment team just arrived, adding emergency supplies are already in Jimani (himani). “There were 13-thosuand individuals and families that were homeless. They were looking for shelter. We are going to distribute food clothing and bedding items.”

Threat of parasites from standing water The situation is rapidly growing worse because of the threat of contaminates left from standing water and lack of shelter from the elements.

The combination of standing water and mud is a prime attraction for mosquitoes — insects that can carry parasites and result in spreading malaria and dengue fever rapidly.

That brings out concern over the children in the area. Food For The Hungry also has sponsored children there. The head of Food for the Hungry’s Child Sponsorship department says the kids they work with are safe.

Meanwhile, Dutch says they’re working with church partners in the distribution of the relief supplies. She explains that their involvement is critical to ministry. “In the midst of doing all that, they witness our actions; because of the emergency and devastations, many of these people have lost all hope. That, in fact, is one of the best times to start preaching the Word.”

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