BC-AP News Digest 3 am (copy)

Electricity poles and lines lay toppled on the road after Hurricane Maria hit the eastern region of the island, in Humacao, Puerto Rico, Wednesday, Sept. 20, 2017. The strongest hurricane to hit Puerto Rico in more than 80 years destroyed hundreds of homes, knocked out power across the entire island and turned some streets into raging rivers in an onslaught that could plunge the U.S. territory deeper into financial crisis. (AP Photo/Carlos Giusti)

Carlos Giusti

The American Red Cross has added Hurricane Maria and the earthquake in Mexico to its list of where assistance is needed, while volunteers and employees continue to help victims from Hurricanes Harvey and Irma.

The Wisconsin chapters of the Red Cross have 220 people deployed to the Houston area, crippled by Hurricane Harvey; Florida, where Hurricane Irma struck the hardest; and the U.S. Virgin Islands, where Hurricane Maria hit.

Personnel have not been sent yet to Mexico, where a magnitude 7.1 earthquake hit on Tuesday, but disaster specialists are in close contact with the Mexican Red Cross and are on standby if help is needed.

Red Cross chapters also are beginning to send workers to Puerto Rico, which took a direct hit from Hurricane Maria.

For those with family or friends in foreign countries hit by these disasters, help in locating U.S. citizens can be given by the U.S. Department of State Office of Overseas Citizens Services, 1-888-407-4747, or online at www.usa.gov/directory/federal/overseas-citizens-services.shtml.

If you are seeking information about non-U.S. citizen family members in Mexico who are missing since the earthquake, go to www.redcross.org/FamilyLinks or call the American Red Cross Restoring Family Links Helpline, 844-782-9441.


Bill Novak is a general assignment reporter for the Wisconsin State Journal.