HOLGUÍN—A Canadian Global Response team arrived in Cuba last week to help assess damages as the recovery phase of Hurricane Matthew takes place. With winds reaching 260 km/h (160 mph), Hurricane Matthew dissipated in the middle of October but claimed the lives of between 600-1650 people, and an estimated $14 billion dollars in damages.
Apart from Hurricane Ike in 2008, Matthew is the costliest hurricane in Cuba’s history.
Abraham Shepherd, President of CGR, is providing disaster relief training for local partners who are volunteering in the recovery process. The team is also conducting a vision trip to help identify future needs.
CGR relief and clean-up recovery will largely be provided in the municipality of Maisí. This area was one of the hardest hit communities following Hurricane Matthew. Michael Krause of Kitchener, Ontario, is volunteering on the ground as project director to help in this capacity. He also serves as the CGR Coordinator for the GTA area and SW Ontario.
Essentials such as nutritious food and clean water have been purchased to assist locals, in addition to materials for buildings that lost their roofing during the heavy winds.
In anticipation of future needs that are currently being met on the ground, please consider giving during the Christmas season towards the recovery efforts in Cuba. Funds will be used to provide shelter, necessities, and disaster relief training to help these communities build resiliency.
Volunteer opportunities will also exist throughout the recovery process, with cleanup teams being called upon. We are requesting potential volunteers to contact the office by email or phone. Further service opportunities and information about disaster relief efforts in the Carribean in the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew will be made available.
Photos: Kegan E. Kay / U.S. Navy / October 5, 2016 / CC license