MEXICO CITY: Oxfam is assessing damage from the magnitude 7.1 earthquake that hit Mexico on Tuesday, killing more than 200 people, most of them in and near Mexico City.
Large areas are now without electricity. Federal government agencies in Mexico are responding with rescue teams and medical aid in the affected areas, and are continuing to respond in the areas already hit by the 7 September earthquake in Chiapas.
Oxfam’s offices were damaged, but staff set up a temporary office and are exchanging information with a network of national and international aid groups.
Oxfam Mexico’s Executive Director Ricardo Fuentes Nieva, who has no home to return to, said Oxfam’s teams were already assessing damage to determine Oxfam’s response, with more information expected in the coming days.
“I realised it was a big one – I decided to dash for the door and to get to the ground floor,” Mr Fuentes-Nieva said.
“I made it to the street in the middle of the earthquake and I could see buildings collapsing. I could hear buildings cracking. I could see parts of the walls falling.
“I’m going to stay with my sister, I am lucky like that. There are many people out there who not so lucky – those are the people we want to work for.”
He said there also would be significant problems in areas in vulnerable communities in the mountains, which were close to volcanoes.
Available for interview: Oxfam Mexico Executive Director Ricardo Fuentes Nieva.
DOMINICAN REPUBLIC: Oxfam teams are preparing to respond to Hurricane Maria, now Category 4, which has battered Puerto Rico and is expected to move over the northern coast of the Dominican Republic later today. Storm surges, strong winds and heavy rainfall is expected.
Earlier this month, Hurricane Irma left more than 24,000 people displaced in the Dominican Republic. Oxfam is working on the northern coast of the country, where people´s lives were severely affected. Irma destroyed nearly 5,000 acres of crops and more than 100 houses.
Oxfam has worked in the Caribbean region for more than 30 years and has experienced teams ready to provide safe water and carry out sanitation and hygiene work for the most vulnerable people after an emergency strikes. Latin America and the Caribbean is highly susceptible to multiple recurrent natural disasters, and people are more vulnerable due to poverty and inequality.
Available for interview: Oxfam Humanitarian Field Manager Camila Minerva Rodríguez and Country Director Raúl del Río.
Donations to support Oxfam’s emergency responses can be made online.
For interviews, please contact Dylan Quinnell on 0450 668 350 or firstname.lastname@example.org