October 4, 2017
Pray for disaster relief efforts in Puerto Rico. Thank God that Samaritan’s Purse was already positioned in Puerto Rico when Hurricane Maria hit. Pray for God to supply exactly what is needed to restore Puerto Rico. Download our free prayer guide for times of crisis HERE.
And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus. (Phil 4:19)
“In the days since Hurricane Maria ravaged Puerto Rico, conditions on the island continue to deteriorate and become a humanitarian and public health catastrophe that could rival the damage caused by Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans.
The fact that the power grid failed creates many obvious problems and some that are not so evident. When the sewer system stops working, wastewater—aka human feces and urine—and seaborne bacteria contaminate the water supply.
This leads to bacterial infections — such as cholera, dysentery, E. coli and typhoid — that can be disastrous. The typical treatments, like tetanus shots or powerful antibiotics, are not readily available on the island, where medical supplies are quickly running out.
According to the Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA), 58 of Puerto Rico’s 69 hospitals are without power or fuel for their generators.
No fuel also means that people cannot readily boil water for drinking or bathing. Danger is imminent with nearly 1.5 million people having no access to clean drinking water, according to U.S. military sources. . . .
With more than 40 percent of the island living below the poverty level, residents must also be able to evacuate without having to fully repay transportation costs to the federal government. . . .” (Excerpted from Miami Herald, commentary by Tomás R. Guilarte, Dean of Florida International University’s Robert Stempel College of Public Health and Social Work.)
“While the government faces criticism over its relief effort for this hurricane-ravaged territory, a North Carolina-based aid group said it is making inroads to some of the island’s hardest-hit communities.
Samaritan’s Purse . . . was using Puerto Rico as its base for other islands, which bore the brunt of Hurricane Irma. When Hurricane Maria brought its unprecedented destructive power to Puerto Rico the staff was quadrupled and turned the focus on the island itself.
The organization flew in one of the first aid planes after the Category 4 Maria made landfall, wiping out the power grid and leaving many without water or food.
‘We were uniquely positioned and could respond immediately,’ said Samaritan’s Purse spokeswoman Shanna Carter, shouting over the roar of plane and helicopter noise Friday at a San Juan aviation center where the nonprofit was offloading cargo.
By Friday, the group’s Disaster Assistance Response Team members had delivered blankets, hygiene kits, heavy tarps and other emergency supplies for 1,200 families in the town of Canovanas, a 30-minute drive east of San Juan.” (Excerpted from Citizen-Times, reporting by Joel Burgess.)