Irma, the strongest Atlantic hurricane in more than a decade has battered millions of people in the Caribbean more. At least 34 people are believed to have been killed.
The Category 5 hurricane has cut a swath of destruction through half a dozen Caribbean nations and overseas territories. Reports from Barbuda suggest that nearly every building has been damaged or destroyed, causing approximately 1,800 persons to be without shelter, while hundreds of thousands of people in Puerto Rico are without power according to authorities. Further reports of severe destruction have been received from the British Virgin Islands and Anguilla, as well as Saint Martin and St Barts (Saint Barthélemy), and St Kitts and Nevi, and Cuba.
“Our worst fears have played out in Barbuda and elsewhere,” said Walter Cotte, the Regional Director for the Americas for the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC). “…but we expect that the Red Cross will be delivering extensive support to many thousands over the coming weeks and months.”
Irma battered the Dominican Republic, Haiti, Cuba, the Turks and Caicos Islands, and the Bahamas, before heading into Florida. As the scale of the damage becomes apparent, the IFRC has released funds from the Disaster Response Emergency Fund (DREF) to support the response in Dominican Republic, Haiti, Antigua and Barbuda, and St Kitts and Nevis. In addition, an appeal 1,128,171 Swiss Francs has been launched to support families affected by the disaster in Antigua and Barbuda and St Kitts and Nevis. For more details on the appeal, please visit:
The Belize Red Cross stands in solidarity with all the persons affected by this devastating storm. At this time, the Belize Red Cross is not able to assist with the collection and distribution of in-kind donations. If this should change in the future, the general public will be so advised.
In the meantime, donations can be made to the disaster fund accounts at the following banks in Belize. Funds collected will be transmitted to the IFRC to assist with the disaster relief efforts in the affected areas.
Belize Red Cross Appeal accounts:
The Belize Bank Limited: Account #13564801012000
Atlantic Bank Limited Account #210657243
Scotiabank Belize Limited Account #9133246
Heritage Bank Ltd. Account #1082665
People across the Caribbean need our help to recover from the effects of this storm. “Red Cross was there before Irma hit, and will be there well after it has passed”, said Walter Cotte.