Flooding in Mexico Affects Hundreds of Members

Contributed By By Jason Swensen, Church News staff writer

  • 1 October 2013

Article Highlights

  • A hurricane and tropical storm simultaneously hit Mexico, causing landslides and major flooding.
  • The death toll currently stands at 100 but could reach up to 200.
  • The death toll currently stands at 100 but could reach up to 200.

Latter-day Saints are counted among the tens of thousands of people in Mexico who have been victimized by a recent two-fisted storm disaster in Mexico.

More than 100 people have been killed in the natural disaster, although there are no reports of serious injury to members or missionaries.

“We do have hundreds of members who have been impacted and whose homes have been flooded,” said Lynn Samsel, Church director of emergency response.

The massive flooding was caused by several days of rain brought by Tropical Storm Manuel and Hurricane Ingrid. Manuel and Ingrid simultaneously pounded both of Mexico’s coasts. Beyond the flooding, the rains closed highways and triggered deadly landslides, including one that buried half of the remote coffee-growing town of La Pintada. Civil authorities fear the death toll could reach 200, nearing that of Hurricane Paulina, which hit the Mexican state of Guerrero in 1997 and caused one of Mexico’s worst storm disasters, according to the Associated Press.

The storms reached across almost all of Mexico, affecting 24 of the nation’s 31 states. More than 58,000 were evacuated from their homes with 43,000 taken to shelters. Seventy-two key highways were reportedly damaged, including main arteries that left the tourist town of Acapulco isolated for several days.

The disaster has prompted a large-scale humanitarian response, including assistance from Church headquarters.

“We are providing support by way of food, water, hygiene kits, and other basic supplies,” said Brother Samsel. “The local members are also involved in helping those in need.”

Church welfare officials have received approval to provide additional assistance. “We’re moving forward,” said Brother Samsel.

Mexico is home to some 1.2 million members and more than 200 stakes.