Tropical storm Cristobal is breaking records as the earliest-ever third named storm in the Atlantic. This year the Americas are faced with an extraordinarily early hurricane season. Mexico in particular is feeling the sting as the effects of both Cristobal and COVID-19 are impacting communities.
Tropical Storm Amanda, Now Tropical Storm Cristobal
On June 3, Tropical Storm Cristobal made landfall in the Mexican state of Campeche. It brought with it damaging winds and rain causing many in the area to evacuate. Tropical Storm Cristobal was formed from the previous Tropical Storm Amanda that slammed El Salvador and Guatemala. The Red Cross has been on the ground responding to disaster needs in both countries. Mexican Red Cross teams are working alongside state institutions to rescue and safeguard people impacted by the deadly floods and landslides that have followed the storms. On the coattails of Tropical Storm Amanda, Cristobal brought similar destruction to Mexico’s Gulf coast.
Red Cross helps residents deal with disease and deluge
In the last few weeks, COVID-19 cases have surged in Central and South America. Cases of the virus in Mexico are growing, and with that, concern grows as well.
The Mexican Red Cross is on the ground providing PPE, health screenings and urging residents to have a solid disaster preparedness plan, as additional disasters can agitate existing conditions. Now the concern is that Tropical Storm Cristobal is doing just that. Since Wednesday’s landfall, significant damage has occurred in parts of Mexico. Currently, evacuations are taking place in response to flooding and landslides. Landslides were reported to affect 15 cities spanning two states.
“With the passing of this storm, the needs of the people may be exacerbated due to COVID-19. We are currently supplying water and face coverings to those in need,” says Brenda Avila, Resilience Program Coordinator for the Mexican Red Cross.
The Red Cross is supplying evacuation shelters with water, cleaning supplies and facemasks. Avila shares how COVID-19 complicates mission delivery, “The virus presents significant health challenges, we hope for safer conditions in order to maximize our recovery efforts.”
Recovering After Disasters
Tropical Storm Cristobal is already making its way up the Gulf coast. As it exits Mexico, it also leaves significant damage in its wake. The American Red Cross in partnership with the Mexican Red Cross will continue to work together to assess and address the needs of all impacted communities. In addition, our mission to stop the spread of COVID-19 in Mexico will also continue.
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About the American Red Cross:
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org or cruzrojaamericana.org, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.