As Hurricane Patricia barrels toward Mexico’s Pacific coast, International Medical Corps is deploying a seven-person assessment team to southwest Mexico to evaluate the humanitarian impact of the storm. Response personnel have been placed on standby for deployment if needed to provide relief and assistance to those in need in the wake of the storm. Hurricane Patricia, with maximum sustained winds currently near 200 miles per hour, is projected to make landfall in the Mexican state of Jalisco on Friday evening local time. Patricia is the strongest hurricane ever measured by the National Hurricane Center in the Atlantic and the eastern North Pacific basins.
“Given Hurricane Patricia’s extreme winds and the massive storm surge projected, those in coastal cities and towns in the path of the storm are particularly vulnerable, and we are also concerned for those further inland, where heavy rain could cause intense flooding and mudslides,” said Chris Skopec, Senior Director, Emergency Preparedness and Response at International Medical Corps. “This is likely to be a catastrophic and potentially deadly storm, and it is critical that medical care and relief supplies reach those in need as quickly as possible after the storm passes. International Medical Corps First Responders—including doctors, nurses and experts in water, sanitation and hygiene—are on standby for deployment to affected areas should assistance be needed by the government of Mexico.”
International Medical Corps has extensive experience as a first responder in the aftermath of storms and other natural disasters, including Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines in 2013, the earthquake and tsunami in Japan in 2011, the earthquake in Haiti in 2010 and the Indian Ocean tsunami in 2004.
International Medical Corps continues to monitor Hurricane Patricia and remains in contact with counterparts in the region.