Christian Groups Respond to Hurricane Felix

Christian humanitarian groups are tending to the needs of Hurricane Felix victims after this season's second Category 5 hurricane slammed into Central America earlier this week.

International aid agency World Vision has mobilized teams in Honduras and Nicaragua in the affected areas to determine the greatest needs.

"Houses are destroyed along the Mosquito Coast," said Oscar Chicas, World Vision's emergency response director for Honduras, in a report. "We are worried that one of our programs may still be affected by flooding."

On Tuesday, Hurricane Felix smashed thousands of homes in Nicaragua and raised fears of floods and mudslides in neighboring Honduras. The death toll for Hurricane Felix is over 40 but could grow as the search teams continue to comb through the rubbles, The Associated Press reported Thursday.

In Nicaragua, the worst hit country, some 50,000 people have been displaced.

"People are out in the open, they have lost everything, children are exposed to the rain," said Mayor Nancy Enriquez, mayor of the coastal community of Bilwi, Nicaragua, according to Agence France-Presse.

Before hitting Honduras, Felix had weakened into a tropical depression. Authorities reported at least 123 damaged homes and 10 landslides have occurred in the country.

In response, U.K.-based Christian Aid staff members and partners throughout Central America are monitoring rivers, supporting emergency evacuations, identifying emergency shelters and preparing teams to assess the damage.

Meanwhile, Lutheran World Relief – which has a long history of working in Nicaragua, Honduras and El Salvador – is coordinating with local partner organizations to respond to Felix.

LWF expressed particular concern that mudslides and flooding as well as the destruction of the region's coffee crop – a major source of income for rural people in Central America – would result after Felix hit the region.

Hurricane Felix marked the first time on record that two Atlantic hurricanes hit land at topmost category five in the same season. Hurricane Dean swept through the Caribbean and hit Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula two weeks ago.