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REPORT FROM GUNAJA ISLAND 11-6-98

PERSONAL REPORT FROM ROBERT K. STURGES. HE ARRIVED GUANAJA ISLAND TUES. NOV. 3 VIA PASSAGE ON THE CARIBBEAN STAR CARGO SHIP WITH MEDICAL TEAMS FROM CANADA AND CALIFORNIA. THIS WAS ONE OF THE FIRST MEDICAL AND EMERGENCY SUPPLY SHIPS TO REACH THE ISLAND.

HE REPORTED MASSIVE DESTRUCTION IN THE COMMUNITIES OF SAVANNAH BIGHT AND MANGROVE BIGHT. 90% OF ALL STRUCTURES ARE GONE. FOLIAGE IS GONE. FAMILIES ARE LIVING ON THE GROUND AND ANY SCRAP LUMBER IS BEING UTILIZED TO PROVIDE SOME SHELTER. MOST PEOPLE ARE BUSY TRYING TO SALVAGE ANYTHING OF USE.

ROBERT COMMENTED THAT " THE PROFESSIONALS SHOULD BE HERE STUDING GUANAJA ISLAND TO FIND OUT HOW THESE PEOPLE, MAINLY LIVING IN WOOD STRUCTURES CLOSE TO THE WATER, COULD HAVE POSSIBLY SURVIVED THROUGH THIS MASSIVE HURRICANE THAT DID SO MUCH DAMAGE."

THE ISLANDERS ARE REPORTING SEVEN DEAD WE HAD HEARD UP TO 16 BEFORE HE ARRIVED. THE MOOD IN GENERAL IS OK AND FAMILIES ARE HELPING FAMILIES. THESE PEOPLE HAVE EXISTED ON THIS ISLAND FOR GENERATIONS AND ALL CARE FOR ONE ANOTHER. THEIR BASIC KINDNESS AND SINCERITY FOR EACH OTHER WILL GET THEM THROUGH THE DAY, BUT THEY NEED MAJOR HELP FROM US TO BE ABLE TO REBUILD AND RECONSTRUCT THEIR LIVES.

BONACCA TOWN HAS HAD MAJOR EROSION, MANY HOUSES IN THE SEA. THE LOCAL BUSINESSES ARE PROVIDING AS MUCH TO THE ISLANDERS AS POSSIBLE BUT WILL BE OUT OF EVERYTHING SOON. THE PHONE AND BANKS ARE OPEN. THE CLOTHING, FOOD AND WATER SITUATION IS ADEQUATE - BUT FOR THE NEXT 4-6 WEEKS THEY WILL NEED MAJOR HELP FROM OUR DONATIONS.

ROBERT REPORTS THAT MAJOR BUILDING SUPPLIES ARE THE MOST URGENT. THEY STILL HAVE RAIN AND STORMS THAT WILL COME THROUGH THE NEXT TWO MONTHS. LUMBER, TIN ROOFING, CEMENT, GUTTER SYSTEMS, WATER COLLECTION TANKS, SEPTIC TANKS, BASIC BUILDING MATERIALS NAILS, HAMMERS, ETC. ARE ALL DESPARETLY NEEDED. HEAVY EQUIPTMENT IS NEEDED. THEY ARE STARTING FROM SCRATCH.

ROBERT WILL SPEND ANOTHER FOUR DAYS ON GUANAJA WALKING THE ISLAND TO SURVEY DAMAGE AND RELEY TO THE PEOPLE THAT HELP IS ON THE WAY.

 

TO CONTACT ROBERT K. STUGES, SHANA HOHERTZ OR JOHN THURMOND IN ATLANTA:

THE GUANAJA GROUP

3821 WIEUCA ROAD ATLANTA, GEORGIA 30342

OFFICE / FAX # 404-848-0019 (PLEASE USE FOR FAX)

HOME # 404-848-0185 CELL# 404-867-5446 (PLEASE USE FOR PERSONAL CONTACT)

WE WILL BE CONTINUING OUR EFFORTS TO GUANAJA ISLAND. WE HAVE ALREADY SENT OVER FOUR THOUSAND POUNDS OF CLOTHING, FOOD, SHOES AND MEDICAL SUPPLIES DIRECTLY TO SAVANNAH BIGHT FROM DONATIONS FROM OUR CARING NEIGHBORS HERE IN ATLANTA. WE HAVE TWO MORE DELIVERIES SCHEDULED IN NOVEMBER AND TWO MORE IN DECEMBER.

 

WE ARE WORKING WITH THE WIEUCA ROAD BAPTIST CHURCH AND SUTTON MIDDLE SCHOOL PRESENTLY TO SET UP ADDITIONAL SUPPORT. QUICK DELIVERY HAS DONATED ANY EXTRA SHIPPING SPACE FROM ATLANTA TO TAMPA- AND THE DEEP REEF TRADING COMPANY IS SHIPPING CARGO WEEKLY- TAMPA TO GUANAJA.

PLEASE CONTINUE ALL EFFORTS. PLEASE TRY TO GET YOUR COMPANIES TO DONATE DOLLARS TO REBUILD. A LITTLE EFFORT ON OUR PART WILL HELP TREMENDOUSLY TO THE ISLANDERS ON GUANAJA.

IN ADDITION, WE ARE ORGANIZING A VOLUNTEER GROUP TO GO TO GUANAJA ISLAND AND HELP REBUILD HOUSES IN DECEMBER AND POSSIBLY AGAIN IN JANUARY. PLEASE CALL IF YOU CAN VOLUNTEER.

(ROBERT STURGES HAS BEEN TRAVELING TO HONDURAS AND THE ISLAND FOR OVER 6 YEARS. HE CURRENTLY OWNS PROPERTY ON GUANAJA AND BEFORE HURRICANE MITCH HAD A SMALL HOME BUILT TO VACATION. HE DISCOVERED THAT HIS FLOOR WAS THE ONLY THING INTACT- WOOD WAS BLOWN AWAY AND IN SHAMBLES ON HIS PROPERTY. HE DONATED ANY USABLE WOOD FROM HIS HOME TO THE DAVIS FORBES AND JENNI-LYNN POWELL FAMILIES TO HELP WITH REBUILDING THEIR HOMES. THEY WILL HAVE TO CARRY THE WOOD 1.5 MILES INTO SAVANNAH BIGHT- BY HAND AND ON THEIR SHOULDERS-PIECE BY PIECE- TO GET TO THEIR HOMES.)

PLEASE CONTINUE TO HELP. THANK YOU.

SHANA HOHERTZ 11-7-98