SILVER SPRING, MD (November 9, 2023) – The Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) is on the ground in Mexico responding to the devastation caused by Hurricane OTIS that struck on October 25. Otis, a Category 5 hurricane with sustained winds of 165 mph, touched down near Acapulco, on Mexico’s southern Pacific coast. National Hurricane Center reports indicate the storm quickly strengthened offshore and became the fiercest hurricane in the Eastern Pacific to ever make landfall in the United States. According to UN agencies, more than 1 million people, including 300,000 children need humanitarian aid. In the State of Guerrero, the catastrophic storm left 100 people dead or missing, damaged at least 120 clinics and hospitals, and destroyed more than 270,000 houses and over 400 hotels in the tourist section of Acapulco.
ADRA mobilized rapidly within hours of the crisis to aid over 3,000 people. The global agency supplied free satellite internet services and immediate cash assistance to afflicted families living in extreme poverty.
“This tragedy has shattered the lives of some of the most disadvantaged neighborhoods in the State of Guerrero. ADRA emergency response teams and volunteers have been working non-stop day and night to deliver critical assistance. Power outages and phone service disruptions affected a significant portion of the population. Since our arrival, our satellite internet service has brought peace of mind to hundreds of families who had lost complete contact with their loved ones,” says Rubén Ponce ADRA’s country director for Mexico.
According to Elián Giaccarini, ADRA’s emergency response coordinator for the Inter-America Division, “the delivery of emergency economic assistance distributed by ADRA Mexico grants greater flexibility and decision-making power to affected families, supports local businesses, and lays the foundation for recovery and resilience of communities.”
ADRA is expanding its humanitarian efforts to provide broad specialized medical services, mostly to vulnerable children and women, through mobile clinics deployed in Acapulco in conjunction with UNICEF.
“In Acapulco, more than 100 hospitals and community clinics have reported damage. We needed to redouble our efforts to support the local health system’s recovery,” adds Rubén Ponce ADRA’s country director for Mexico.
ADRA’s disaster relief efforts in Mexico are made possible through the generous support of donors and trusted partners.
“The humanitarian challenge before us is unprecedented. As a result, we are committed to increasing our efforts to help the most vulnerable families for as long as it takes. “Therefore, we rely on the kind support of our donors and partners more than ever to continue saving lives,” says David Poloche, ADRA’s regional director for the Inter-American Division.