Acapulco Emergency Response

Hurricane Otis, November 2023

A Catastrophic Storm

Hurricane Otis made landfall over the coastal city of Acapulco, central Guerrero State, southern Mexico in the early morning of October 25th. This category 5 hurricane with maximum sustained winds of up to 270 km/h caused floods and landslides, killing and injuring dozens of people. Residents had to face surging cases of disease amid the dire shortage of operational healthcare facilities. The lack of a functional drinking water network posed a huge threat of waterborne diseases, primarily gastroenteritis, salmonellosis and diarrhea.

Our Support to the People of Acapulco

Providing assistance as quickly as possible for the affected population is essential following a disaster, to support both their physical and emotional well-being. Through the joint effort of Alsea Group, BD, MetLife Foundation, Starbucks Foundation, and Planet Water Foundation, we helped address the survivors’ pressing needs for clean, safe water. In cooperation with Coordinación Nacional de Protección Civil, we identified some of the worst-impacted communities with high need for drinking water and initiated a response plan.

“It is really hard for me. I don’t want to remember the day after Otis hit us because it took everything with it, and put us in a situation where we didn’t have any access to water at all. If we wanted to get water, we had to walk at least fifteen minutes through flood water and garbage to get that water and take it home. Have you ever had to walk more than fifteen minutes with a 20 liter jug of water on your back more than 5 times a day just to satisfy your family’s needs? It’s an experience I wouldn’t wish on anyone and that won’t happen again now thanks to this beautiful system your team installed in this church so everyone in the community can have access to clean water that we are confident is of good quality and will do us good. Thank you!”

Eloisa Sánchez Sosa,
La Frontera Commissioner

“We were blessed by being selected to have this water system in our community. Water is life and it’s what we needed most after the hurricane because all services stopped due to the damage, leaving us without access to basically everything. All the local families are coming to this center to fill up their containers with clean water to drink and cook with and that fills my heart to know everyone will at least have access to this essential resource.”

Gregorio Pérez Palma,
La Poza Commissioner

In total, ten water filtration systems were transported into the disaster zone and deployed in 2 phases. The first deployments took place on November 11th in Acapulco de Juarez, with the following systems deployed between November 29th and December 3rd in the communities of Plan de los Amates, La Poza, La Frontera, Llano Largo, Cumbres Llano Largo, and San Pedro las Playas.

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