Hurricane Mitch's aftermath Relief efforts: Central America needs help from the international community to ease the suffering.

November 08, 1998

MEMORIES OF Hurricane Andrew help us appreciate the devastation that Hurricane Mitch left behind in Central America. Andrew was one of the most powerful Atlantic storms of the century when it blew into Dade County, Fla. The 1992 storm killed 14 people and left 40,000 homeless. But that storm's fury does not compare with Mitch's path of death and destruction.

The hurricane, later downgraded to a tropical storm, killed at least 9,000 people. Many were buried in mudslides. Another 13,000 people are missing. More than a million are homeless in Nicaragua and Honduras, in need of food, fresh water and medicine.

Delivering aid that has already arrived for the victims is a challenge. Honduras has been described as a land of islands; its road system was destroyed by the storm. The international community must work to help Honduras rebuild the key parts of its damaged infrastructure -- and quickly.

In times like these -- unimaginable to most of us -- the work of relief agencies and individuals are critical.

How to help

The following are a few of the organizations working to ease the suffering in Central America:

American Red Cross

International Response Fund

P.O. Box 37243

Washington, D.C. 20013

800-HELP-NOW

Catholic Relief Services

P.O. Box 17090

Baltimore, MD 21203

800-235-2772

Lutheran World Relief

Church Street Station

P.O. Box 6186

New York, NY 10277

800-597-5972

Doctors Without Borders

6 E. 39th St., 8th Floor

New York, NY 10016

888-392-0392

Pub Date: 11/08/98

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