As we prepare for Rosh Hashanah, our thoughts are with those who have been impacted recently by the hurricanes, flooding and now last night’s earthquake measuring 7.4 on the Richter scale 120 kilometers south of Mexico City.
The earthquake directly hit Moishe House Mexico City. The three residents are physically safe and working actively to help support the intense rescue efforts while their house has been badly damaged.
The American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC) is responding to the earthquake by supporting the search, rescue, and emergency aid efforts of CADENA, its Mexican Jewish humanitarian partner, in hard-hit Mexico City. This work, as well as the tracking of Hurricane Maria’s impending impact in the Caribbean, is an expansion of JDC’s ongoing response to Hurricane Irma.
With longstanding ties with the Jewish community of Mexico, as well as CADENA, JDC is assessing needs and will implement a response focusing on immediate rescue and relief including digging people out of the rubble, emergency psychology services and medical aid. At the same time, JDC continues its response to Hurricane Irma, providing hygiene kits, safe drinking water, psychosocial support for children, access to safe educational facilities, as well as rehabilitating homes of hundreds of children throughout the Caribbean, including in Haiti and Barbuda. JDC’s Hurricane Irma response partners include UNICEF, Heart to Heart International, and CADENA.
Additionally JDC has been working with the Cuban Jewish community – with whom it shares a close relationship since being invited by the community in the 1990’s to help revitalize Jewish life on the island – providing a variety of food and recovery aid to the Jewish community of Cuba which was impacted by the unprecedented storm. Before the storm, JDC worked with the community in Havana on a crisis communication strategy to ensure the well-being of Jews in the provinces.
JDC coordinates its relief activities with the U.S. Department of State, USAID, the Israeli government, Interaction, and the United Nations, as well as local and international partners.
Vidalert, which was recently established with the advice of ZAKA personnel – Israel’s primary rescue and recovery volunteer organization – in order to provide a speedy emergency and medical response within Mexico, is already in the field with hundreds of emergency ambulance-bikes, providing first aid.
Also, a 15 member Search & Rescue delegation of iAID, an International Israeli Aid Organization in partnership with Magen Emergency & Disaster Management, will be leaving Ben Gurion Airport around midnight [Wednesday] on its way to Mexico to assist.
iAID is coordinating and will partner its efforts with the local government as well as with the IDF delegation which is traveling to Mexico.