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CARE Update: Hurricane Felix response in Nicaragua

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
SEPTEMBER 6, 2007
2:32 PM

CONTACT: CARE 
Allen Clinton, CARE USA, clinton@care.org, (404) 979-9206

 
CARE Update: Hurricane Felix response in Nicaragua
 
NICARAGUA - September 6 -As Hurricane Felix parked over Nicaragua spilling a tremendous amount of rain, CARE response teams report severe damage and need in the northeastern part of the country. CARE and local partners are beginning to distribute locally-procured relief supplies -- food, water and basic hygiene items -- to reach approximately 22,000 people in the hardest-hit towns of Puerto Cabezas and Waspan located in the RAAN (North Atlantic Autonomous Region), as well as six communities in the department of Jinotega. CARE assessment teams are also closely monitoring the situation in the nearby departments of Matagalpa and Esteli where rains continue.

Based on initial assessments, CARE has set a fundraising goal of US$1.2 million to sustain relief efforts in Nicaragua over the next 30 days, while also planning longer-term rehabilitation.


''We don't know the full extent of this emergency as rains continue and assessment teams are still trying to get to harder-to-reach areas,'' says Marcos Neto, CARE program director for Central America. ''What we have seen are a lot of scared and tired people whose homes have been blown away. These people have no choice but to drink dirty water, as clean water sources have been contaminated. Rivers are also starting to overflow and poor farming families are losing their crops to flood waters. Communications are limited as phone lines are down and there's no electricity to even charge a cell phone to make a call for help.''

During the past year CARE assisted communities in Waspan and Bluefields in the RAAS (South Atlantic Autonomous Region) to build seven emergency shelters. The communities also prepared emergency response plans and evacuation routes, and they organized local committees to respond to natural disasters. They also received basic search and rescue training and equipment. As Hurricane Felix approached, over 200 families were evacuated to the shelters, which resisted the battering of this hurricane. More families continue to be evacuated to the shelters as rains continue and flood waters rise.

As initial relief efforts continue, CARE anticipates longer-term rehabilitation activities to focus on rebuilding homes, reconstruction of water systems and latrines, replanting lost crops and building more evacuation shelters.

About CARE: CARE has over 60 years of experience delivering emergency aid. With ongoing poverty-fighting projects in 66 countries, CARE can respond quickly anywhere in the world. Our emergency responses focus on the needs of the most vulnerable, particularly women and children. CARE's work in Central America began in 1955. Its programs today focus on addressing long-term development needs and empower marginalized women through programs including health, education and microfinance. For more information about CARE and to make a donation, visit www.care.org.

 

 

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