Early Updates on Puerto Rico and Mexico
Two major natural disasters impacted the Western Hemisphere this week. Yesterday afternoon, a 7.1-magnitude earthquake shook Mexico City and surrounding areas. At least 225 people are dead and complete buildings collapsed.
Early this morning, Hurricane Maria slowly moved over Puerto Rico. Hurricane-force winds battered two-thirds of the island, completely knocking out power. First responders are currently involved in search and rescue operations in both locations.
We praise God initial reports show our Alliance family is safe.
“Puerto Rico is very beaten. It will take months and a lot of work to get us back on our feet,” says Rev. Javier Gómez, superintendent of the C&MA Puerto Rico District. “I could not hold back the tears, many people are scared and suffering. May God make us strong and help us to use this opportunity.”
Oscar Garcia, an Alliance international worker in Uruguay, learned this morning his sister’s home was destroyed. “My family is safe, but my sister lost her house and everything. It’s been devastating. It’s heartbreaking,” Oscar said.
We also heard from Maritza Cumba, an international worker on home assignment in Puerto Rico:
Thank you for your prayers, your love, and your concern. The rain has intensified and the winds have increased. The night was long as the sound of the wind didn’t allow us to sleep very much. The eye of the hurricane arrived in the early morning.
The hurricane moved very slowly, and we will need to stay inside all day. We heard debris falling as it hit our doors. We can’t leave the house; it’s very dangerous. The winds are very strong. We continue to pray and trust that our family and those in our church are okay.
We continue trusting God, because what’s coming is going to be very difficult. This affected the whole island and we aren’t sure the extent of the damage. Thank you for praying for my island, the Dominican Republic, and Cuba.
Several workers from the Canadian Alliance team have potential structural damage to their homes, so they are unable to return until there is an inspection. The team in Mexico asks that we pray for calm and protection, especially for children. Only two weeks ago, a magnitude-8.1 earthquake struck off Mexico’s southern coast, killing at least 90 people.
We will keep you posted on any more news that we hear. Continue to pray.
Through the CAMA Disaster Relief Fund, you can support our Alliance family in Puerto Rico and Mexico as they reach out to their communities.