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Samaritan’s Purse rushes to Haiti after the earthquake |

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At the request of the Haitian government’s health ministry, Samaritan’s Purse deployed an emergency field hospital in southern Haiti on August 17.

MSF teams continue to provide emergency shelter and clean water to affected communities in the hardest-hit areas of southern Haiti in the wake of the 7.2-magnitude earthquake on August 14.

Christian Relief International mobilized more than 15 people on Saturday.

A team of responders landed in Saint-Louis-de-Sud, Haiti, around 4 p.m., August 15, according to Ken Isaacs, vice president of programs and government relations at Samaritan’s Purse.

Isaacs said at least five other people from the organization’s disaster response team based in Port-au-Prince responded to the disaster.

The earthquake caused extensive damage, destroying homes and trapping people under the rubble. The organization fears that there will be heavy casualties as search and rescue efforts continue.

“It’s hard to fully determine the damage,” Isaac said. “We don’t know how many homes have been destroyed or buildings that have fallen and we want to do everything we can,”

Samaritan’s Purse’s DC-8 freighter airlifted disaster response specialists and 31 tons of emergency relief supplies, including shelter materials and two community water purification units, to Haiti on August 16. Each unit is able to provide clean water to 3,500 people per day.

Shelter and clean water are among the immediate needs of Haitians as the country prepares for Tropical Depression Grace, Isaac said.

He was also on the ground with Samaritan’s Purse right after the 2010 earthquake in Haiti. Within an hour of the earthquake, he said, he received text messages that the city’s water had stopped.

A medical team will also be deployed to provide basic medical care and initiate health assessments. The team will arrive in Port-au-Prince around 9am tomorrow. Isaacs estimates that this part of the relief effort could take three to four weeks, although they are still working on the logistics of moving supplies from Port-au-Prince to the affected area.

“This massive earthquake has devastated Haiti – it has left many families homeless and looking for loved ones,” said Franklin Graham, president of Samaritan’s Purse. “We are responding to help meet needs in Jesus name. Please pray for Haiti and all who are suffering,”

Isaac said Samaritan’s Purse is closely coordinating with Customs, Immigration, the Ministry of Health and the Prime Minister’s Office to quickly manage the aid.

Samaritan’s Purse has worked in Haiti for over a decade – responding to disasters and maintaining a permanent country office based in Port-au-Prince. In 2010, Christian Relief International responded to the 7.0 earthquake and the subsequent outbreak of cholera.

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