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Media CenterCRS Mobilizes Response to Hurricane Beryl

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACT:
Robyn Fieser
Catholic Relief Services
[email protected]
+1 646 648 3916

CASTRIES, SAINT LUCIA, July 9, 2024 – Catholic Relief Services (CRS) and its local partners in the Caribbean are distributing emergency supplies in communities hit by Hurricane Beryl, the first Category 4 storm to ever form in the Atlantic Ocean in the month of June.

The storm ripped through the Caribbean last week, initially making landfall over the island of Carriacou in Grenada. As it swept a destructive path through Barbados, St. Vincent and The Grenadines, Grenada and Jamaica, at least 10 people were killed and thousands more were forced to seek refuge from storm surges and strong winds.

“So many houses across the region have been destroyed or damaged,” said Cristopher Lopez, a technical advisor on CRS’ Humanitarian Response Department. “The rains and winds have ripped off roofs, cars are under water and many communities have lost power because of all the fallen trees. That has been no impediment for the youth volunteers, who have been trained in first aid and search and rescue, to help us and our partners lead this response.”

In Grenada, which suffered some of the heaviest impacts, an estimated 1,600 people are in shelters. That number that is expected to double, given that 95% of buildings have been damaged or destroyed. Many households in Jamaica have lost roofs and could face mosquito infestations due to stagnant water.

Across affected areas, homes and infrastructure suffered severe damage from heavy rains, winds, flooding and landslides. Fallen trees have cut power lines. The most affected communities are those in low-lying areas – due to the flash floods and high swells – as well as those in mountainous areas where strong winds caused major damage.

Families urgently need emergency shelter, food, clean water and hygiene supplies to prevent water-borne illnesses like cholera. Those who have lost their homes and other assets such as businesses will need safety and shelter for the short term and support to rebuild and recover.

CRS is working with partners to provide immediate assistance, with plans to help families and communities in their longer-term rebuilding and recovery.

CRS partner Caritas Grenada quickly established an operations center and storage facility in the Parish Hall of Hillsborough on Carriacou. With CRS support, Caritas Grenada is assisting 400 families (about 1,600 people) with shelter, supplies and WASH kits, while Caritas Antilles is delivering pre-positioned water and shelter supplies in St. Vincent and The Grenadines.

As needs become clearer, CRS and partners will deliver context-specific support, focusing on shelter supplies; food and cash assistance; hygiene kits and sanitation supplies; and long-term support for home repairs and rebuilding and infrastructure restoration.

CRS has been supporting local partners in the Caribbean since the early 2000s.

 

To donate to CRS’ Hurricane Beryl relief efforts, click here.

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Catholic Relief Services is the official international humanitarian agency of the Catholic community in the United States. The agency alleviates suffering and provides assistance to people in need in more than 100 countries, without regard to race, religion or nationality. CRS’ relief and development work is accomplished through programs of emergency response, HIV, health, agriculture, education, microfinance and peacebuilding. For more information, visit www.crs.org or www.crsespanol.org and follow Catholic Relief Services on social media in English at Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube; and in Spanish at: Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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Journalists & editors:
For photos & video material, contact: Brittany Wichtendahl at [email protected] or 757-748-5003

Online Tools:
CRS Online Press Room: www.crs.org/press-room

Robyn Fieser

Regional Marketing Manager - LACRO

Robyn Fieser
July 9, 2024

Based in Bogotá, Colombia

Robyn is the regional marketing manager for CRS in Latin America and the Caribbean. She raises awareness about CRS’ humanitarian and disaster relief programs, serving as a contact for key news outlets and coordinating coverage of emergency and development stories. From a base in Bogata, Colombia, she travels throughout the region to...More