Cologne/Houston. Malteser International is working with aid organizations in the United States of America to coordinate relief efforts for residents of the Houston area in Texas. Tropical storm Hurricane Harvey has been officially downgraded, but the storm has made a second landfall in Louisiana. “However millions of people continue to be threatened by the unprecedented flooding.” said Ingo Radtke, Malteser International’s General Secretary who has been in constant touch with the American associations of the Order of Malta. “People are still being rescued from their homes. A Malteser International emergency assistance team is providing support for people in emergency shelters”. There are currently about 230 Rescue Centers in Texas. The largest of these is the George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston in which up to 10,000 evacuees are currently living.
“Until the floodwaters recede, it is difficult to state the exact number of people in need of urgent assistance. Cleaning up the city will take months, and rebuilding will take years”, said Radtke. Many survivors do not have access to means of communication, and families have been separated not knowing how their relatives are faring or where they are. Survivors can reach out to loved ones in designated communications centers that offer telephone and mobile services.
“Rehabilitation measures will begin after the emergency relief phase. Only a small fraction of people who have lost all their possessions have flood insurance. From our experiences after the 2013 flooding in Germany, we understand the kind of suffering that comes with such disasters, and how long it would take before survivors fully recover”, said Radtke.
Ingo Radtke, General Secretary Malteser International is available for interviews.
Contact: +49-(0)221-9822-155, katharina.kiecol(at)malteser-international(dot)org
We are urgently calling for donations to help people affected.
Reference: "Hurricane Harvey in USA"