A $25,000 emergency grant has been sent to Bishop Jose Saucedo Mendoza in the Diocese of Cuernavaca to help with emergency efforts in the areas near Guerrero and Alcopulco, Mexico, following the destructive floods and mud slides caused by Hurricane Paula in early October.
Bishop Mendoza requested assistance from the Presiding Bishop's Fund for World Relief (PBFWR) because of "severe damage to both property and life" in the southwestern areas of Mexico. He did not indicate if church properties were damaged. The Diocese of Cuernavaca is part of the new Anglican Church of Mexico.
The bishop indicated that the grant would be used to help with reconstruction and other emergency relief efforts following the storm which killed as many as 500 people and wiped out entire communities with flooding. Thousands of acres of farmland remain under water, livestock have died, and mud and landslides have isolated entire communities, according to reports from Church World Service.
Reports from civil and religious relief agencies indicate relief facilities are not able to respond in some areas, and shortages of food and water are critical. Health officials fear outbreaks of deadly diseases, such as cholera.
"This is an initial response to the meet the needs of the people affected by the disaster," said Nancy L. Marvel, Executive Director of the PBFWR from her New York office. "The assessment of damage in the isolated areas cannot be completed immediately. As we get further assessments, the larger needs will be identified," she added. "This natural disaster will require long-term solutions."