Over the last weeks, natural disasters such as hurricanes in the Caribbean and the Southern United States, and the earthquakes in Mexico have taken a heavy toll on many of our neighbors, colleagues, and friends. We have been deeply saddened to learn of the destruction, injury, and loss of life suffered by residents in these lands.
: After hurricane Harvey, the city faces huge hurdle to recovery. Texas region is grappling with the urgent need to clear detritus and the natural desperation to return as quickly as possible to normal life.
: Many Puerto Ricans living in other places are desperate to return home to island reeling from disaster and help in the aftermath. The island is largely without electricity and running water. It is comforting to know that aid reaches Puerto Rico after hurricane Maria.
: Hurricane Maria has added to the extensive damage on the many islands in the Caribbean region. Prior to this, the region was pummeled by Irma, a second major storm in two weeks. Hurricane Maria barreled across the Caribbean over the past days, claiming the lives of at least 19 people, with many others missing.
: What we know so far is that a powerful 7.1-magnitude earthquake struck southern Mexico on Tuesday, in Puebla state, 123 km from Mexico City. At least 217 people have been killed, including 86 in Mexico City, 71 in Morelos and 43 in Puebla state. The death toll continues increasing. It was the most powerful earthquake since one which hit Mexico City in 1985, killing thousands. Citizens and rescuers have been working tirelessly through the night to dig people out of rubble. Dozens of buildings have collapsed, including more than 40 in Mexico City alone.
It is noteworthy the resilience and determination by those experiencing dire straits, and the willingness of those not affected to alleviate the suffering of those adversely hit by lending a hand anyway they can. Our destinations' infrastructure, including Mexico City's hotels and airports are standing, ready to continue receiving M&E programs.
Our thoughts and prayers are with those affected by these disasters.