Saturday, August 18, 2007 – 10:00 a.m.
Bridgetown: Hurricane Dean has now passed through the islands and is in the Caribbean Sea where the warmer waters are fueling its strength. Dean is now a category 4 hurricane and is forecast to strengthen and become a category 5 (a super typhoon to our friends in Asia). Dean did less damage than expected. I have been seeking to collate early reports and the full extent of damage will not be known for a few days yet.
Barbados: Relatively little damage with a few trees and utility poles across the road. These have already been dealt with and businesses re-opened yesterday, Friday.
St. Vincent: Relatively little damage with some coastal damage in the north of the island.
St. Lucia: Houses in the north of the island damaged. The roof of the pediatric ward of the hospital blown off, but patients were relocated prior to the roof coming off. Some coastal damage. One man lost his life while trying to save a cow being swept away by a swollen river. No reports yet of church buildings damaged.
Martinique: Pastor Jean-Marc Montout has reported “Numerous roofs are blown away, most of the trees are on the ground, and there is no water and no electricity. Of course the plantations (banana and sugar cane) are down.” There is a report of one person dying of a heart-attack during the hurricane but it is not as yet known if this was hurricane-related. I do not yet have specifics of any damage to church properties. Martinique, a French Department, was the worst affected among our group of islands.
Dominica: A number of homes were damaged. About 1,000 people were housed in some 100 shelters during the hurricane. Two persons lost their lives—an adult and a child—when a mud slide covered the house where they were sleeping. There is extensive damage to banana crops, the main agricultural product in Dominica. I have received a report of the roof of a church building in Battica having been blown off—this is a small pioneer congregation.
URGENT PRAYER NOW NEEDED
Hurricane Dean is strengthening and is on a course to pass over Jamaica, the Cayman Islands and the Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico. Preparations are under way in all these places but there is not much that can be done in the face of a major category 5 hurricane (super typhoon). Please pray for God’s sovereign grace in each of these countries to protect our people.
Jamaica: In the last couple of years Jamaica faced two major hurricanes, including Hurricane Ivan. On both occasions the hurricanes were travelling straight at Jamaica and as God’s people interceded the hurricanes changed course and went around the island—one to the left and the other to the right. Let us petition God to do it again.
Cayman Islands: Hurricane Ivan devastated this small island community and they are still working to recover. Another battering by a major hurricane is almost unthinkable. Let us pray that God would graciously spare our people in the Caymans on this occasion.
Yucatan Peninsula: This part of Mexico is struck regularly by hurricanes, including several major hurricanes in recent years. While I do not have a lot of information on this peninsula I know that damage and death has been visited here by these hurricanes. Let us cover them in prayer for God’s protection.
Cuba: A northward turn and Dean will slam into Cuba. Cuba has the largest population of any island in the Caribbean—there are more people living in Cuba that in the whole English-speaking Caribbean. Let us watch and pray.
Haiti: Dean is not expected to hit Haiti head on. However, the hurricane is so large that the edges of the storm will pass over Haiti. Torrential rain will result in severe flooding and loss of hundreds of lives. Let us intercede for our Haitian people.
Gulf of Mexico: It is difficult to say where Dean will go after it crosses the Yucatan Peninsula and enters the Gulf of Mexico. It could turn left and hit Mexico, go straight on up into Texas or veer right and head for the Mississippi/Louisiana/Alabama coast. We pray.
The only thing that might at this stage reduce the effect of Hurricane Dean is if the winds in the upper atmosphere increase and take the top off Dean. The forecast is for these winds to remain very low and for a high pressure ridge to keep pushing Dean along to the West. Our God is able. Let’s talk to Him.
I am in touch with World Relief Corporation in the USA and we will be looking at ways in which we can respond in the days ahead. Pray for generous donors so we can be a real help to the most vulnerable and needy.
Pleas pass this prayer request on during the next 24 hours (10:00 a.m. August 18 to 10:00 a.m. August 19) so as to generate much prayer.
Rev. Gerald A. Seale, DD, General Secretary and CEO,
Evangelical Association of the Caribbean, 41 Excel Road, Elizabeth Park, Christ Church BB15092, Barbados,
Tel/Fax: 1-246-427-9746 Web Site: www.caribbeanevangelical.org
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