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PWRDF accepting donations for Hurricane Beryl response

July 5, 2024

By Janice Biehn

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PWRDF has committed $5,000 in response to Hurricane Beryl as it tears through the Caribbean and Mexico, and is also accepting donations to support communities where needs are greatest.

Hurricane Beryl made landfall Monday in St. Vincent and the Grenadines and Grenada as a Category 4 Hurricane. Carriacou (one of three islands that make up Grenada) was directly hit with 222 km/hour winds. As Beryl gathered momentum moving across Jamaica and Mexico, it was upgraded to Category 5. By Friday, 9 deaths were being attributed to Beryl.

According to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, Beryl strengthened from a tropical depression to a major hurricane in the Atlantic in just 42 hours, a phenomenon only recorded six times before. It has also come unusually early in the hurricane season. “Scientists say that climate breakdown caused by human activity has increased the intensity and frequency of destructive tropical storms, due to warming oceans,” says the Anglican Communion News Service.

PWRDF will work with the Anglican Alliance (a coalition of 10 Anglican aid agencies, including PWRDF) or the aid agency best suited to provide immediate support.

While dealing with the impact of the hurricane in his own island home of Grenada, the Anglican Alliance’s Caribbean Facilitator, Clifton Nedd, shared his extreme concern for the islands directly in Beryl’s path. “Hurricane Beryl caused catastrophic damage, especially on the island of Carriacou [and since then on Union Island]. It is heartbreaking to see the images and videos that are emerging. There will be a fuller assessment in daylight hours. The destruction appears to be total, and the impacts are physical, material and psychological.”

Carriacou has two Anglican parishes and Bishop’s College secondary school, and at least one church lost its roof. There are also reports that the roof was ripped off the Anglican Cathedral in St. Vincent. Power outages due to the hurricane have impacted communications so a comprehensive picture will only emerge in the coming days.

As Hurricane Beryl so painfully illustrates, the brunt of climate change impacts is being born by vulnerable communities, including small-island developing states. Ralph Gonsalves, the Prime Minister of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, decried the lack of political will in rich nations. In an interview on Monday he said, “I am hopeful that what is happening – and we are quite early in the hurricane season – will alert them to our vulnerabilities… and encourage them to honour the commitments they have made on a range of issues, from the Paris Accord to the current time.”

How you can help

Please keep the people in the affected communities in your prayers. You can also make a donation to PWRDF’s Emergency Response Fund and indicate “Beryl” in the notes or on your cheque. Please visit pwrdf.org/give-today or send your cheque to PWRDF at 80 Hayden Street, 3rd floor, Toronto, M4Y 3G2. You may also make your donation by phone calling 1-866-308-7973 during business hours.

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For media requests please contact Communications Coordinator Janice Biehn at (416) 924-9199;366.

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