Emergency Disaster ServicesNews

Salvation Army responds to continuing earthquakes in Puerto Rico

Some 2,000 earthquakes have rocked Puerto Rico since December, including a 6.4-magnitude temblor that struck the southwest corner of the island on Jan. 7, damaging hundreds of buildings.

As many as 40,000 persons have voluntarily moved away from their homes in fear they might collapse as more aftershocks are possible. The U.S. Geologic Service says there is a 4 percent chance of one or more aftershocks more powerful than the 6.4 magnitude quake could happen. If so, it could further add to the more than $100 million in damage.

Since January 13, The Salvation Army has leapt into action and served 3,382 meals, 4,130 drinks, and 1,124 snacks. Army personnel, which currently include eight officers, has made 1,540 emotional and spiritual care contacts.

The Army has also distributed 587 blankets, 206 cleanup kits, 1,891 hygiene kits, 1,155 bulk food boxes, 2,012 clothing items, 120 furniture items, 82 tarps, 229 infant supplies, 110 cases of water, 160 toys, and 1,806 other items such as tents, cots, camp stoves, propane tanks, and flashlights. As the crisis continues, these numbers continue to rise.

Meanwhile, The Salvation Army has supported the development of three key initial base camps managed by the Puerto Rico National Guard.

The Salvation Army’s key facilities in the aftermath are the Ponce Corps, the Caguas EDS Facility, and Ray & Joan Kroc Corps Community Center in Guayama.

An additional corps in Arecibo is providing meals.

Anyone wanting to help financially can call 1-800-SAL-ARMY or go to www.helpsalvationarmy.org.

by Robert Mitchell

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