11th September 2017
UPDATE: A second disaster assistance response team (DART) and more relief supplies arrived on the island of St. Martin on Monday. The emergency items included blankets, shelter plastic, hygiene kits, and water purification units—enough for 12,000 people. This increases our initial response to help a total of more than 24,000 people.
The island of St. Martin has extensive infrastructure and building damage; water and food supplies are dwindling. Additional emergency flights are planned in the days to come for additional hard-hits areas of the Caribbean.
Our DC-8 first delivered relief supplies and a DART to the island of St. Martin on Friday 8th September. Distributions are now underway. Our team will continue working with government officials and church contacts to identify people who will most benefit. The team also assessed the French side of the island on Sunday to determine needs and how we can help.
Thankfully, on Friday 8th September, we were also able to bring back 29 people who had ridden out the storm.
Our St. Martin DART members report that when the DC-8 landed Friday it was greeted by a crowd of cheering people.
“This was a significant encouragement to the people, that somebody cared that much for them and was willing to go and help them in their time of need,” said our Hurricane Irma response manager. “We believe God has opened a unique door on St. Martin, and we want to show the compassion of Jesus Christ and bring His hope to people who are suffering.”
On Sunday 10th September, Irma hit South Florida as a ferocious Category 4 storm. It has now been downgraded to a tropical storm. The hardest hit areas have been the Keys and Florida’s western coast, especially areas around Naples and Fort Myers. Please pray for people in the storm’s path today.
“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.”