6 November 2023 |
In the wake of Hurricane Otis’s destruction in Acapulco, Mexico, the Seventh-day Adventist Church and the Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) have swiftly organized aid efforts for the storm-ravaged community, according to a recent article on the Inter-American Division news website. The Category 5 hurricane, which made landfall on October 25, 2023, has been deemed the most severe storm to hit the region, claiming over two dozen lives, affecting upwards of half a million homes and businesses, and causing widespread power outages.
With Acapulco in dire need, the Church acted promptly, delivering a truck loaded with food and basic necessities only two days after the disaster, aiming to support the hundreds of church members impacted. Pastor Abraham Sandoval, the president of the Inter-Oceanic Mexican Union, has been actively coordinating relief operations with the South Pacific Conference administrators. These efforts are vital as the city grapples with depleted pharmacies and grocery stores, unable to meet the urgent demand for food and medicine.
Over 2,000 church members across 30 congregations in Acapulco have been affected, yet no casualties within the membership have been reported. The Central Adventist Church in Acapulco, which suffered minor damage, is serving as the distribution hub for the ongoing relief efforts. The nearby 16 de Septiembre Adventist School also was damaged and will remain closed pending detailed damage assessments.
Further assistance is on the way with two additional trucks of supplies en route to Acapulco. Church leaders have acknowledged that the road to recovery will be lengthy, with many families requiring basic necessities as well as home essentials such as mattresses and covers.
Simultaneously, ADRA Mexico’s Emergency Response Team is preparing for action, pending official clearance to enter Acapulco. Supported by ADRA International and Inter-America, the agency plans to provide targeted aid following thorough on-site assessments. Notably, ADRA Mexico has secured prepaid cards for 430 families and is collaborating with UNICEF to coordinate a health team.
The situation in Acapulco remains critical, with the airport shut down, the main hospital destroyed, and the transportation infrastructure severely compromised, isolating many communities. In response, ADRA Mexico has initiated a fundraising campaign on social media to support the affected areas. Updates on the humanitarian aid and ongoing projects can be accessed here.