GUATEMALA: Deadly Mudslide Takes Lives of Church Members
ust days after Guatemala was hit by Hurricane Stan in early October, which caused deadly mudslides burying hundreds of people and completely covering villages and communities in their path, church leaders confirmed 22 members dead and nearly 3,400 members homes affected.
The Adventist Disaster and Relief Agency (ADRA) in Guatemala stepped in to provide aid immediately after the disaster struck.
We quickly organized a team of 30 pastors and 70 church leaders to assist with food and clothing at different sites, which [was] the most urgent need, says Otoniel Trujillo, ADRA/Guatemala director.
| HELPING SURVIVORS: Church members from Santa Rosa travel through flooded regions to distribute relief supplies to survivors.|
Many people are homeless . . . some 20 bridges were destroyed, and many roads were damaged, leaving the victims stranded and without any outside communication, adds Trujillo. Three of our Seventh-day Adventist Churches, which were being used as shelters, were buried under the thick mud, killing everyone inside.
Church members and youth groups joined forces to offer help in packaging food for the victims and delivering supplies through a caravan of vehicles to the worst-hit areas. The local Adventist radio station, Union Radio, solicited support from the community.
Church leaders at Guatemalas North Central American Union report that 13 church buildings were destroyed, and 24 Adventist churches and five schools are being used as community shelters.
Church leaders also fear the number of dead among church members may rise.
For more information on how to help the victims of the Guatemala disaster, call ADRA at 1-800-424-2372 or go to http://www.adra.org/.
--Inter-American Division Communication Department/AR.