TIJUANA.- Now that Huricane Odile has been downgraded to a tropical storm, en route to Sonora and Arizona, eyes are on Baja California Sur to determine the extent of damage caused to the region. Although no fatalaties have been reported, the state was left without water, electricity, and communication, both in terms of roads and telephone service. It is estimated that 27 thousand tourists, both national and international, are stranded in Los Cabos, with no way to leave.
Yesterday afternoon, President Enrique Peña Nieto, visited the region and assured that the federal government was doing everything possible to restore public services, and is sending supplies to the region. "What is most important is for this region to return to normality as soon as possible, it will take weeks, months, and the rehabilitation of lots of infrastructure that was destroyed." Said President Peña Nieto, asking that victims be patient and comprehensive so that evacuations may take place in an orderly fashion.
Both the military as well as some airlines have responded to transport tourists left stranded by the hurricane. Grassroots efforts to support victims have also emerged and can be found via facebook, advising people of collection centers where supplies can be dropped off to support victims.
The""Movimiento Altruista Odile" is one of the most popular groups, that is not only collecting basic food and sanitation items, but is also providing information on the state of emergency until everything returns to normal. A collection center has been set up in San Diego, California as well as various cities in Mexico.
It is anticipated that electricity service and telephone service in La Paz and Los Cabos will be restored today. Those U.S. visitors or residents in the affected areas, or with loved ones in the region, can call 1-888-407-4747 for more information, or write to OdileEmergencyUSC@state.gov[/b]
Insurance companies estimate that the cost of damage as a result of Odile is around 12 billion pesos.