Hurricane Iris, a compact, category 4 storm bringing 18 foot sea surges, 145 mph winds and six inches of rain slammed into southern Belize Monday night, demolishing hundreds of homes and leaving at least 10.000 people homeless. Today, people are standing around along the roads in shock, beside their ruined homes and demolished crops, wondering what to do next.
The poor rural Mayan villages in Belizes southern Toledo District were hardest hit. Because they are inland, these villages were not prepared for this kind of impact. San Pedro Columbia, one of the largest villages in the Toledo District, had 204 homes completely destroyed and 150 badly damaged. Other villages reportedly hit very hard were Big Falls, Indian Creek and Medina Bank. Twenty-six of 56 rural schools in the district are said to have been destroyed. Immediate and urgent needs are for emergency shelter, food, and water. Fortunately, little loss of life has been reported.
Plenty International, a non-profit organization which has worked for 10 years in this area in health and agriculture projects will be working with local and international agencies and our friends in the Toledo District to help meet the most pressing needs. If you can help with a donation, we are able to wire money directly to our Belize office within 24 hours. 100% of your donation will be used for emergency needs. Construction volunteers are also needed. In a world already suffering from too much devastation, here is more suffering that is not covered in the national media but urgently needs our attention. For more information, please call (931)964-4323. To make a tax-deductible donation, please make your check payable to Plenty International - Hurricane Relief, and mail it to PO Box 394, Summertown, TN 38483.
P.O. Box 72
Punta Gorda, Toledo District
Phone (011) (501) 7 22 198