Hurricane Patricia made landfall on Mexico’s Pacific coast around 6.15pm local time Friday night, carrying winds of around 165 mph.
The Category 5 hurricane is being reported as the most powerful hurricane ever recorded with winds peaking at 200 mph hours before landfall.
ADRA’s emergency response is already planned, with the first focus to be a food distribution to 5,000 families in the two most heavily affected states, Colima and Jalisco. Each food pack provides enough food for a family of five, with 2,500 packs going to each state.
ADRA Mexico is working closely with ADRA coordinators in the local Seventh-day Adventist unions and conferences for activities including the mobilization of volunteers. Many of these volunteers are on standby to conduct needs assessments as soon as safely possible, which will guide the next steps of ADRA’s hurricane disaster response.
ADRA emergency response teams (ERTs) are also on alert, readying team members to travel to the area as additional staff are needed.
Early storm monitoring showed that the potential for damage from Hurricane Patricia is great, with a strong likelihood of heavy flash-flooding and high waves off the coast, and the true impact will be seen as the storm recedes over the weekend. Thousands of local residents were evacuated, and shelters throughout the area were making room for as many as 240,000 people.
ADRA Mexico reports that more than 3,500 homes were damaged. One survivor, who sheltered in his home with his five children and four other adults, described the storm. “You had to hear how the air trembled,” he said. When the wind started blowing, it was not long before a neighbor’s roof was in his backyard. “I saw it fly, and I saw it land in my patio.”
ADRA Mexico has begun distributing food baskets, roofing sheets, and bedding to affected families.
Emergency donations are critical to ADRA’s ability to respond immediately to disasters like Hurricane Patricia.