Toppled Brick Oven, La Ladrillera, Mexicali (Rick Barnes)
Badly Damaged House, Mexicali (various sources)
Landslide on La Rumorosa Highway (courtesy Moises Diaz)
Damaged canal road, Mexicali Valley (courtesy Moises Diaz)
Baja Earthquake Update
April 7, 2010
By Rick Barnes, International Ministries missionary.
As you know, the area of Northern Baja California Mexico experienced a magnitude 7.2 earthquake on Easter Sunday afternoon. Thankfully, Mexicali itself, while receiving some damage, is pretty well functional. Lights have been restored, and telephone and e-mail is up and running as well. The United States border crossing in downtown Calexico, CA is now reopened, so the 3-6 hour crossing to get back into the states is now diminishing.
We have been hearing news from the valley southeast of Mexicali of more serious damage than originally thought. Thankfully, the casualty toll continues to be roughly the same. We are hearing of more reports of damaged houses, and flooding due to broken canals. Pastor Moises Diaz, pastor of Ebenezer Baptist Church (Iglesia Bautista Ebenezer) in Mexicali, has worked tirelessly to be in communication with pastors in the valley. He heard from Pastor Roberto Guerrero, pastor of Bethany Baptist Mission (Misión Bautista Betania) in Reacomodo (see enclosed map). As reported earlier, he is fine, as is the church building. However, several congregants of the mission have had homes damaged to the point of condemnation, and are now homeless. Rafael, a pastor in the same town, had his house flooded, and is now living in his church’s building with his family. There have been numerous news reports of between 25 and 35 thousand people made homeless by the quake.
The churches of Mexicali are responding. Tomorrow morning, an aid caravan will be leaving from the seminary in Mexicali to go to the valley to help with food, clothing, and basic necessities. This is by no means surprising, given our experiences of the people with whom we serve in Mexicali. But remember, they are only able to offer so much.
Many of you have written to express a desire to help. Right now, I would suggest that you send money. Clothing and food and basic necessities can be purchased on the ground here much more cheaply than purchasing and shipping items from your location.
As you feel led to give, please send this to International Ministries, PO Box 851, Valley Forge, PA 19482-0851 Designate it for Baja Earthquake Relief.
Very soon, we will also need work teams to come and help rebuild. Angela Sudermann (firstname.lastname@example.org) has information on Short Term Mission teams in general, and will soon have information on specific opportunities in the Mexicali Valley.
We have been relatively cool here, but soon will reach the 100’s and the displaced need a place to call home again.
We continue to clean up here. Aftershocks continue, including some in the magnitude 4 range, from now south of Guadalupe Victoria (near the epicenter) to near the Salton Sea in southern California, USA. The United Stated Geological Survey, on its most recent earthquake map, has revised the map to include 1563 earthquakes of various magnitudes in this area within the past week. We are getting back to normal; getting there, not there yet.
We continue to appreciate your prayers and notes, though please understand we may be slow to respond. We will continue to keep you informed.