Samaritan's Purse airlifted 21 tons of water filters, heavy-duty plastic sheeting, hygiene kits and blankets Thursday to help survivors of Hurricane Matthew in Haiti. A Disaster Assistance Response Team (DART) was also aboard our DC-8, and they will join our field staff—already on the ground—in distributing these relief supplies to Haitians in desperate need.
,Friday, October 7, we will be sending a second airlift with another 20 tons of supplies to Haiti.
Our heavy equipment is already active in Haiti, helping communities remove debris and clear roads.
"Hurricane Matthew has wreaked havoc on Haiti," said Franklin Graham, president of Samaritan's Purse. "Our teams are on the ground helping in Jesus' Name. They're going to do all they can to meet the needs of the suffering people there. Please pray for the people of Haiti as they recover from this deadly storm."
Hurricane Matthew caused horrendous damage as it hit Haiti with torrential rain and winds up to 145 mph on Tuesday, Oct. 4. Although the center, or eye, of the storm is long gone, conditions remain dangerous. A major bridge connecting the southwest of Haiti to the rest of the country has washed out, according to news reports from the island nation.
Hundreds died in the storm and the death toll is likely to climb. An estimated 350,000 people in Haiti are now in desperate need of help. Hurricane Matthew passed over Cuba, hit the Bahamas, and is now headed for the U.S. East Coast. [It has been downgraded to a Category 3 storm for the time being, but is expected to regain strength.]
In Haiti, Samaritan's Purse field staff are on the ground, assessing damage, and preparing a response to bring relief to survivors of the Category 4 storm. The slow-moving hurricane made landfall around 7 a.m. local time Tuesday and ripped up the Tiburon Peninsula of southwestern Haiti.
Haiti is the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere and continues to deal with the aftermath of a devastating 2010 earthquake. Housing and other infrastructure in the country tends to be weak. Cholera is a national issue and sanitation problems could be exacerbated by the storm.
Please pray for the people of Haiti as they suffer through this latest natural disaster. Please also pray for our staff as they prepare to meet the needs of storm-battered survivors.
Samaritan's Purse has been hard at work in Haiti for many years, both before and after the earthquake and subsequent cholera outbreak. We have current projects in a number of relief sectors including water, sanitation, and hygiene; maternal and child health; recycling; education; agriculture; food security; construction; and gender-based violence response. World Medical Mission sends medical volunteers to help at the Haiti Health Ministries Medical Clinic.
In addition, we operate and staff the Greta Home and Academy, which provides housing, education, and a nurturing Christian environment for some of Haiti's future leaders.
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