• Disaster Welfare Inquiries for Cuba

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    September 26, 2017

    Situation Overview

    Hurricane Irma made landfall in Cuba September 8-10, causing heavy winds and coastal flooding. More than 2 million people sought refuge in emergency shelters and family homes.  The hurricane left behind severe damage to housing, energy infrastructure, agriculture, and the tourism infrastructure.

    Red Cross Response
    The Cuban Red Cross deployed over 7000 volunteers to the filed in support of relief operations.  The Cuban Red Cross supported the evacuation of 5000 people from the provinces of Guantanamo, Holguín, Las Tunas, Granma, Santiago de Cuba, Camagüey, Ciego de Ávila, and Villa Clara.

    RFL Response       
    The Cuban Red Cross has mobilized 117 offices throughout the provinces that are equipped to handle RFL inquiries.
    Inquiries will be accepted that meet the following criteria:

    • Sought persons who have been missing since the onset of Hurricane Irma in Cuba and were in regular contact with their relatives in the United States before contact was lost.

    • For immediate family members ONLY (parents, siblings, children, spouses, fiancées, grandparents or legal guardians) who are not U.S. citizens.

    Inquiries concerning U.S. citizens should be referred to the U.S. Department of State, Office of Overseas Citizens Services, at 1-888-407-4747 and http://www.usa.gov/directory/federal/overseas-citizens-services.shtml.

    In addition to submitting an inquiry through the Red Cross, please advise clients to continue to attempt to contact their relatives. The following advice may be helpful.

    • keep calling, sending text messages and trying to connect via email or social media; calling during off-peak hours may help to get through clogged phone lines

    • contact other family members or neighbors who live nearby or may also be concerned about the sought person