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Mexico: Restoring family links following floods

07-11-2007 News Release 07/115

Geneva (ICRC) – In the wake of recent flooding in Mexico's southern Tabasco state, tens of thousands of people have been temporarily housed in shelters all across the disaster-affected area.

While service is generally available, telephones in some parts of the state are not working and many people have been left without news of loved ones.

The delegation in Mexico of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has been working with the Mexican Red Cross to set up a programme to restore links between flood victims who find themselves separated from relatives. Its work is expected to last three to four weeks. Red Cross family-links staff have been active in the disaster area since Saturday, visiting shelters and, when needed, making available mobile phones for people to call their families.

In addition, the ICRC yesterday launched a special webpage, available to people in Mexico and throughout the world, to help those seeking to restore contact with their relatives. The page is in Spanish and English and can be accessed at  

The Mexican government has opened its own website, where over 30,000 people have already registered.

People in the disaster area who have internet access can register on the ICRC site as a means of announcing that they are safe. Those without internet access who wish to register can do so by giving their personal details to Mexican Red Cross volunteers, who will enter them on the site. Those who are looking for loved ones in the disaster area and cannot find their names on the websites mentioned above can register them on the ICRC site.

This ICRC website is managed in cooperation with the tr acing services of National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies. The ICRC has no means of verifying the information on the site and cannot accept responsibility for any inaccurate information.

The information placed on the website is not confidential – anyone can read it. It is the responsibility of those registering to ensure that no harm is caused. Neither the ICRC nor any other component of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement can accept responsibility for any consequences for an individual arising from registration.

Further details are available from your nearest Red Cross or Red Crescent office.

People who have restored contact and wish their names to be removed from the list should follow the instructions on the webpage.

For further information, please contact:
  Adriana Alarcón, ICRC Mexico tel. +52 55 258 12 110
  Marçal Izard, ICRC Geneva, tel. +41 22 730 24 58 or +41 79 217 32 24