CHRISTIANITY DAILY

Hurricane Matthew Takes Heavy Toll in Haiti, Christian Organizations Rush to Help People in Need

Hurricane Matthew
(Photo : NASA/Public Domain) Hurricane Matthew as captured by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Terra satellite hours after the storm hit the southwestern region of Haiti.

Hurricane Matthew has claimed at least 478 deaths in Haiti, and left over 300,000 people in need of disaster relief. An estimated 61,000 people have sought shelter in the impoverished country.

Heavy winds sustaining speeds of up to 140 mph accompanied by torrential rain caused massive flooding in Haiti and left a trail of destruction wherever the storm passed. Rescue workers are trying to assess the extent of damage, which was not immediately known because the hurricane had hampered communication links.

Many Christian non-profits are working on a mission scale to provide assistance to those affected by the hurricane in Haiti.

Samaritan's Purse has sent over 40 tons of supplies to Haiti, and their staff is active on the ground to help the victims.

"Hurricane Matthew has wreaked havoc on Haiti," said Franklin Graham, president of Samaritan's Purse. "Our teams are on the ground helping in Jesus' Name. They're going to do all they can to meet the needs of the suffering people there. Please pray for the people of Haiti as they recover from this deadly storm."

Southern Baptists have thousands of trained volunteers and mobile units to provide relief and assistance in mud clearance, child care, feeding.

Christian Aid published an appeal on its website informing of the situation in Haiti.

"Hurricane Matthew has swept through Haiti, leaving a trail of devastation in its wake. As Haiti's frightened people emerged from shelter, the damage to their homes and livelihoods became clear. Thousands have lost their homes, corn and banana crops have been flattened, and livestock have been swept away. The death toll is rising as emergency workers slowly start to gain access to remote areas that have been cut off by the storm.

We've been working in Haiti for nearly 20 years. Our partners helped evacuate people to shelters as Hurricane Matthew approached, and made sure that the shelters were stocked with food over the weekend. Now they're assessing the damage the storm has caused and working out how best to help people."

Salvation Army is sheltering about 200 people at its units in capital city Kingston. It has its presence in Haiti since the last 130 years, provides a range of services including "corps worship centers, feeding centers, children's homes, a vocational training home for women, a men's hostel, a senior citizens' home, a residential school for the blind and visually impaired, kindergarten schools, daycare nursery centers, community centers, a medical clinic and an addiction rehabilitation center for men."

Catholic Relief Services is assisting with the food and shelter needs of the people, apart from providing water and hygiene supplies. It is distributing blankets and other emergency supplies and also monitoring potential outbreaks of cholera and other water-borne diseases.

Loving Shepherd Ministries of Indiana, which has 18 foster homes, many churches in Haiti, a clinic, and many other institutions, said that its buildings were hard hit by the storm. LSM community members were safe but they are assessing damage.

Tags Haiti hurricane Matthew, Samaritan's Purse, Southern Baptists, Christian Aid, Salvation Army, Catholic Relief Services, Loving Shepherd Ministries

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