BY FERNANDO RODRIGUEZ
The Cabo San Lucas Bomberos Volunteer Fire Department, led by long-time humanitarian, Commander Juan Antonio Carbajal, has implemented a toy donation program for the children of Acapulco, whose lives were shaken by Hurricane Otis in October.
Otis hit Acapulco as a Category 5 hurricane with sustained winds of 165 mph. and, according to the National Hurricane Center, was the strongest hurricane in the Eastern Pacific to make landfall in the satellite era.
Since the storm intensified so quickly, the more than one million people living in and around the city had very little time to prepare for the devastating storm before it reached its shores.
Reports and images from Acapulco showed catastrophic damage to structures, including several hotels and many high-rise buildings, as well as downed trees, overturned cars, severe flooding, and mudslides. Damage was also reported at 120 hospitals and clinics. More than 10,000 utility poles were destroyed, knocking out power and internet across the region, and making communication with anyone outside of the city impossible.
Adding to the horrendous condition and aftermath of Otis, mudslides outside the city in mountainous terrain prevented rescue crews from getting into the city to help. According to the Associated Press, the 10,000 troops deployed to the area lacked the tools needed to clear the mud and downed trees off the roads to reach the city and its victims. The Mexican Red Cross is still in the process of delivering 75 tons of humanitarian aid and more than 1,600 people remain in shelters in both Acapulco and nearby Coyuca de Benítez.
The toy collection project of Bomberos CSL Fire Department is hoping to gather as many toys as possible and deliver them to Acapulco in time for the Day of The Three Wise Men holiday which is celebrated every January 6. The toy drive collection idea was inspired by the Board of Trustees Member of the Cabos San Lucas Fire Department, Manuel Basauri.
The local businesses that have stepped in to help with toy donations are Tanga Tanga Restaurant and Bar, Lucury Avenue, Mango Deck Cantina at Medano Beach, Wild Cabo Tours, Repara Express, ACO digital foto and video, The Cabo San Lucas City Council, The CSL Department of Public Services, Integral Medical Clinic, and Cabo APE Association of Business Professionals.
For more information, please contact their Bilingual English/Spanish Public Relations Department at (624) 238-1917.