Lakewood Ranch, Fla. (Vocus) April 14, 2010
Emergency shelter for up to 2,600 people is being sent to Mexico after an earthquake rocked the country last week.
A 7.2 magnitude earthquake struck the Baja California region on Sunday, April 4. An estimated 25,000 people have been affected by the earthquake with the worse damage in rural areas south of Mexicali.
More than 5,000 families have reported that their homes have been either complete destroyed or severely damaged. ShelterBox Response Team (SRT) members John Mackie of Florida, and Jennifer Kormendy of British Columbia, arrived in Mexicali on Saturday, April 10 and will soon receive the first consignment of ShelterBox tents.
“The need is great,” said Mackie. “The devastated region is quite large and unlike Haiti’s earthquake, the loss of homes is not centred around a city but is found in little villages miles apart from each other.”
Mackie has said that tremors are happening daily and the people are fearful to go indoors. He has also said that flooding has been an issue due to the fissures in the ground opening up miniature geysers of water which cause additional damage to the homes of the region.
“‘ShelterBox tents will allow the survivors to gather their families and remaining possessions and stay close to their homes until they are able to rebuild,” said Kormendy. “The tents will likely be used for up to a year as many do not possess the resources to rebuild immediately. “
The team has been working closely with locals to work through logistics. Mackie described the locals as truly amazing people.
“The Mexican people are so supportive of our efforts,” said Mackie, “We have people who have organized volunteers to train the locals how to set up the tents and civil organizations ready to help us transport the boxes from the airport to the most needy.”
Veronica Brandon Miller, executive director of the ShelterBox USA, said that this is the fourth earthquake and ninth disaster that ShelterBox has responded to since January having provided shelter for upwards of 150,000 people.
“It is amazing that even though we have responded to the Chile and Haiti earthquakes, ShelterBox continues to get the job done,” said Miller. “We are saving lives, one box at a time.”
Individual tax-deductible donations to ShelterBox USA can be made at http://www.shelterboxusa.org or via text message by sending SHELTER to 20222 for a one-time $10 donation
A selection of photographs taken by Jennifer Kormendy can be seen here.
Since its inception in 2000, ShelterBox (http://www.shelterboxusa.org) has provided shelter and dignity following over 100 disasters in more than 70 countries, bringing the organization to the forefront of international disaster relief. ShelterBox instantly responds to earthquake, volcano, flood, hurricane, cyclone, tsunami or conflict by delivering boxes of aid. In many cases ShelterBoxes have made the difference between life and death.
Each ShelterBox supplies an extended family of up to 10 people with a tent and lifesaving equipment to use while they are displaced or homeless. The contents are tailored depending on the nature and location of the disaster, with great care taken sourcing every item to ensure it is robust enough to be of lasting value. Highly trained ShelterBox Response Teams distribute boxes on the ground, working closely with local organizations, international aid agencies and Rotary clubs worldwide.