Samaritan’s Purse Rushing Aid to Haiti After Powerful Earthquake Rocks Southern Cities

15th August 2021

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UPDATED 18 AUGUST.

  • The 7.2-magnitude earthquake left more than 1,400 dead and countless injuries. It also destroyed tens of thousands of homes.
  • Samaritan’s Purse has airlifted aid and personnel including doctors and nurses to Haiti.
  • In addition to shelter and water filtration, we are constructing a 32-bed Emergency Field Hospital in Les Cayes.

An airlift has delivered disaster specialists and medical personnel, along with shelter materials, water filtration systems, and other supplies, to the suffering nation.

Samaritan’s Purse is responding in the aftermath of a 7.2-magnitude earthquake that slammed southeastern Haiti near the port city of Les Cayes. The Saturday morning earthquake caused severe damage—destroying homes and trapping people in the rubble. High casualties are feared as search and rescue efforts continue.

Our DC-8 aircraft departed on Sunday, and has landed in Port-au-Prince, with 14 disaster response specialists along with many tonnes of relief bound for communities left in devastation. The relief includes emergency shelter material, medical supplies and water filtration units to provide clean water daily for thousands of people. A medical team will also deploy to provide basic medical care and begin health assessments.

Teams will work closely with local authorities and church partners to assess needs, distribute aid, and mount a strategic response in hard-hit locations.

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“This massive earthquake has devastated Haiti—it’s left many families homeless and searching for their loved ones,” said Franklin Graham, president of Samaritan’s Purse. “We are responding to help meet needs in Jesus’ Name. Please pray for Haiti and all those who are suffering.”

This earthquake, followed by a 5.2 aftershock, was more powerful than the devastating 7.0 earthquake that levelled whole communities near the capital Port-au-Prince in 2010.

At the request of the World Health Organization, we are staging a level-2 mobile trauma unit in the event of high casualties in more populated areas. If needed, a second airlift would transport the Emergency Field Hospital, surgical teams, and other doctors and nurses to serve trauma patients.

Affected communities are also at a high risk for other illnesses, including the growing worldwide spread of COVID-19 variants. Disasters of this magnitude also expose Haitians to the threat of deadly cholera outbreaks, a disease endemic to the island nation that quickly infects communities as infrastructure and clean water supplies are compromised.

Samaritan’s Purse has worked extensively in Haiti, including the work of the Greta Home & Academy, a project stemming from our response to the 2010 earthquake and subsequent widespread cholera outbreaks.

Our 2016 response following Hurricane Matthew marked our first Caribbean airlift aboard the DC-8 after the category 5 storm hit the southern peninsula.

Please pray for the many suffering families as they mourn and await news of injured or missing loved ones. Pray also for rescue efforts, local authorities, church partners, and for wisdom and protection as our teams respond in the wake of unspeakable devastation.

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