Panama struck by massive flooding
Friday, December 5, 2008
Bocas del Toro, Panama
After a week of heavy downpour, residents of northern Panama are dealing with the effects of destructive flooding. The Associated Press reports at least eight have died and more are still missing in the region of Bocas del Toro, located on the border with Costa Rica. High floodwaters and resulting landslides have wiped out highways and bridges, cutting off the hardest hit areas of the region. Throughout the country, officials are reporting homes, as well as millions of dollars worth of crops, destroyed.

Western Panama District Superintendent Ulises Espinoza reports more than 40,000 people have been affected. Phone and land communication have been suspended, along with electricity, for more than a week. There is also a serious food shortage due to the lack of passable roads and the destruction of crops.

The homes of Pastor Eulalio and two other Nazarene congregants were completely washed away by the flooding.

The government of Panama has constructed a temporary bridge to access the isolated areas and deliver much needed food and medications. The Mexico and Central America Region is collecting and distributing food to flood victims.  They request support and prayers during this time of emergency.

Persons and churches wishing to contribute to the relief efforts can mark their checks "Central America Flood Relief ACM1202" and send them to Global Treasury Services, 17001 Prairie Star Pkwy, Lenexa, KS 66220. In Canada, checks should be made payable and sent to the Church of the Nazarene Canada, 20 Regan Road, Unit 9, Brampton, Ontario L7A 1C3. Online donations may be made by clicking here: ncm.org.
--Nazarene Compassionate Ministries  (Slideshow - photos courtesy of MAC NCM coordinator Carlos Helmer Juarez)
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