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Maria and Irma Response Updates: Relief Efforts Continue in Caribbean

UPDATE: Our DC-8 aircraft continues to bring tons of relief supplies every few days to Puerto Rico. Distributions of heavy-duty shelter plastic, blankets, hygiene kits, and other emergency supplies are benefiting thousands of families. We also recently used our helicopter to deliver food kits to scores of families in the remote community of Don Alonso.

“Hurricane Maria didn’t just devastate San Juan but Puerto Rico from one end of the island to the other,” Samaritan’s Purse President Franklin Graham said from San Juan on 3 October. “We’re working not just in this city, but across the island….We’re going to be here for a while.”

At a church service on 15 October, three young people volunteering with Samaritan’s Purse came and received Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour.

Distributions continue on Dominica as well. In addition, six nurses have been deployed there by Samaritan’s Purse to help meet some of the island’s critical medical needs. And, on 6 October, medical equipment and supplies were flown in along with a four-person surgical team to help care for those with orthopaedic needs resulting from Hurricane Maria.

Our teams on the island have also installed four water treatment systems. We will be providing clean drinking water to more than 11,000 people daily, about 20 percent of the population.

On Barbuda, we have established two water treatment systems. We are the only organisation providing clean water on the island. We also are in the process of delivering 400 generators to help families recovering after Hurricane Irma. Our teams have distributed heavy-duty shelter plastic to nearly 50 percent of the island’s households. The first church services on Barbuda after Hurricane Irma were held Sunday, 15 October. More than 75 people attended, and sang praises to God for this faithfulness.

In total, our DC-8 plane has made more than 30 trips from North Carolina to the Caribbean to bring in personnel and relief supplies related to our Maria and Irma responses. Our DC-3 aircraft has made more than 110 additional flights to support our responses.

Our Ongoing Caribbean Distributions to Date (3 November):

  • Medical services to nearly 1,000 people
  • Heavy-duty shelter plastic to more than 68,500 households
  • More than 11,800 hygiene kits
  • Nearly 17,000 blankets
  • More than 940 generators
  • More than 2.1 million litres of clean water

Samaritan’s Purse is bringing physical relief and the hope of the Gospel to families in the Caribbean as they struggle to recover after Hurricanes Irma and Maria.

There is still a great need for people to serve in the Caribbean. If you are interested, please email projects@samaritanspurse.org.au or call us on Australia 1300 884 468 or New Zealand 0800 726 274.

If you would like to financially support our work in the Caribbean, please click below.