Relief Arriving in Puerto Rico After Hurricane Fiona

Our teams are working on the hurricane-devastated island, and we have sent water filtration systems and shelter materials to the island.

Samaritan’s Purse is responding in Puerto Rico where Hurricane Fiona hit Sept. 17-18 as a Category 1 storm, tearing through the southern and western parts of the island.

We airlifted over 16 tonnes of emergency relief supplies to Puerto Rico on Thursday, 22 September. Materials included 2,200 shelter tarpaulins; two community water filtration units; and 1,000 portable family water containers.


Tom Ovington, a disaster relief specialist with Samaritan’s Purse, prays with a local resident after Hurricane Fiona.

Our Disaster Assistance Response Team is on the ground installing the first water system now. They are also working with church partners to distribute tarps and jerry cans to hard-hit communities. An additional water system will be installed at a second location over the coming days.

Torrential rainfall—30 inches or more in some places—from Hurricane Fiona triggered catastrophic flash flooding and landslides on the island. At least 1,000 people had to be rescued from raging currents. Winds of 85 mph knocked out power lines and damaged roofs. Hundreds of thousands of residents are still without power and lack in-home access to clean water.

“We are partnering with local churches that we worked with after Hurricane Maria in 2017 to meet families’ physical needs while reminding them of the hope found only in Jesus Christ,” said Franklin Graham, president of Samaritan’s Purse. “Please join me in praying for everyone impacted by this hurricane and for families who are still in the path of the storm.”

Five years ago this week, we began a response in Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria devastated the island, making landfall as a strong Category 4 storm. Samaritan’s Purse conducted 41 DC-8 airlifts, delivering shelter materials, food, generators, and water filtration systems. We also established mobile medical units to provide basic medical care for survivors. Over the course of a year-plus, we provided relief to more than 350,000 families, over 10 percent of the U.S. territory’s population.

We partnered with more than 300 local churches during that response and plan to work with many of them again now.

“We are working with government officials, other relief organizations, and local churches to determine the full extent of the need,” said Ricky Geigel, one of our Disaster Assistance Response Team (DART) members already on the island.

Please pray for the many hurting families and for our teams as we respond in the wake of such devastation.


Many are still without power and water in Puerto Rico. Flooding caused much damage, and waterlogged items line neighborhood streets.

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