PRAYER ALERT for hurricane ravaged Caribbean. Hurricane Irma raged through 30% of the Caribbean on September 6-7. It killed at least 44 people and damaged untold thousands of homes. It destroyed the Cuban airport of Jardines del Ray, and set free more than 100 prisoners on the British Virgin Islands. Newly homeless residents fled not only from the wind and waves but from thieves. They scrambled for makeshift shelters. After the storm they ventured out warily into the surrounding wreckage to seek dwindling supplies of drinkable water and food.
With these Caribbean nations located on islands, the inhabitants could not drive away as so many Texans and Floridians did. Airlines canceled flights and an entire Cuban airport—the Jardines del Ray—was demolished by the hurricane. The vast majority of islanders in Irma’s path—in Anguilla, Barbuda, Cuba, the French-Dutch island of St. Martin, St. Barts, the Bahamas, Turks & Caicos, the British Virgin Islands and the US Virgin Islands—had to ride out the vicious hurricane.
On the French-Dutch island of St. Martin’s, Irma damaged 90% of the buildings and destroyed one-third. More than 100 people had to evacuate French St. Martin’s main hospital, where 70% of the beds sustained damage. Outside, looters abounded in the streets. Some broke into a customs office and seized arms. Most residents hid, but some armed themselves with machetes and went out to fight for whatever they could find.
Resort bar manager Massimiliano Napoliello described French St. Martin in a Facebook post: “The situation…is a HELL!!! They are completely isolated and there are CRIMINALS carrying GUNS AND KNIVES SHOOTING and looting all over! NOTHING IS WORKING, THERE ARE NO RULES, THERE IS NO LAW AND NO PROTECTION RIGHT NOW!”
Once the winds had died down, help began to arrive. France sent to French St. Martin 2,000 troops, police and emergency workers, and President Emmanual Macron himself. The US FEMA sent to the US Virgin Islands about 578,000 meals, 383,000 liters of water, 30 generators, 13,600 sheeting covers, and 150 rolls of blue tarps. President Trump will arrive soon.
But governments cannot do all the work. Ministries like Samaritan’s Purse are filling in the gaps. Samaritan’s Purse alone has brought more than 85 tons of emergency supplies to Saint Martin and Barbuda. They include shelter materials, hygiene kits, food, and water filtration devices that change sea water into drinking water.
Samaritan’s Purse has also deployed teams in storm-struck Texas and Florida. They are now expanding their work to Antigua, Turks & Caicos and other Caribbean nations in the weeks ahead. They have a long history of successful relief and recovery projects. You can donate to their worthy efforts at https://www.samaritanspurse.org/disaster/hurricane-irma/.
Mexico will also need relief and recovery from Hurricanes Max and Katia—not to mention an 8.1 earthquake—and Hurricane Norma which is now approaching…
DailyInsight. Brokenness is the strongest foundation on which to build the kingdom of God (see Mt. 21:42-44; Isa. 61:1-4)
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