Airlift Takes Hurricane Relief Supplies to the Caribbean

8th September 2017

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Today Samaritan’s Purse airlifted emergency supplies to hurting families on the heavily damaged Caribbean island of St. Martin.

Our DC-8 cargo jet was loaded with such essential items as hygiene kits, blankets, and rolls of heavy-duty plastic sheeting for emergency shelter. Working with local authorities and a partnership network, our Disaster Assistance Response Team will distribute these urgently needed materials to more than 2,000 affected families. In future emergency flights, household water filtration units will be included.

“We’re taking critically needed supplies to storm survivors, enough to provide shelter and warmth for thousands of families,” said Samaritans Purse President Franklin Graham. “Please pray for all those affected by this horrific storm. These are difficult days, but we are more committed than ever to help the hurting in the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ.”

“We are more committed than ever to help the hurting in the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ.”—Franklin Graham

Heart-Wrenching Devastation

Irma, one of the most powerful Atlantic Ocean hurricanes in recorded history, initially made landfall as a Category 5 storm on Sept. 6. Its 185 mph-winds and punishing rains began carving up the Leeward Islands, including St. Martin.

More than a dozen deaths have been reported from the ferocious hurricane.

Massive destruction first came to Antigua and Barbuda. Nearly every building on the island was damaged and about 60 percent of the island’s 1,400 residents were left homeless. “What I saw was heart-wrenching, absolutely devastating,” Prime Minister Gaston Brown said.

Irma’s fury then punished the island of St. Martin, which is divided between French Saint-Martin and Dutch St. Maarten. At least four people were killed and 50 injured. One official said that 95 percent of the island was destroyed. Another official reported that Irma “destroyed houses everywhere, torn-off roofs everywhere. It’s just unbelievable. It’s indescribable.”

Though Puerto Rico escaped a direct hit, Irma’s outer bands brought heavy winds and rain to the island, knocking out power to more than one million people.

The Turks and Caicos are being battered, and Bermuda, which was blasted by Hurricane Matthew last October, remains vulnerable to the wrath of Irma.


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