Puerto Rico was hit by yet another earthquake early this morning -- this one registering 5.2. I have never seen anything like this. The number and intensity of the earthquakes has created an ongoing terror so that thousands of people are still refusing to sleep in their own homes for fear that the structures will collapse on them in the middle of the night.
Many locals are heading to refugee shelters during the day, but the shelters close at night and the people have to fend for themselves. Since many won't or can't return to their homes, they head to a park or any open space where they sleep in tents, or just sleep in their cars. Anything to stay out of the shaking buildings.
TODAY I made the decision to DEPLOY a Mercy Chefs team to Ponce, a city on the southern coast just 20 miles from the epicenter of the largest quakes. We just secured access to a kitchen in Ponce that has not been seriously damaged by the earthquakes, which is a great blessing. There is an urgent need to provide hot meals to the surrounding villages and for the relief workers who are in the area to help with the disaster -- as well as those who are sleeping in tents and cars.
Our Mercy Chefs team will be on the ground TOMORROW and will be serving meals within 24 hours of our deployment. Will you help provide HOT MEALS to disaster victims and volunteers in Puerto Rico while we continue other vital efforts? Go here to make your tax-deductible gift:
Just $50 will help us provide 20 hot meals right away. Your gift of $100 will help us serve 40 meals. Of course, every gift will help.
Again, I haven't seen a situation quite like this where the disaster is ONGOING! Our contacts are telling me that every time the ground shakes, the people wonder if more houses will fall... and if it will ever end.
I want to help. Mercy Chefs funded critical emergency supplies within 24 hours of the first quake. We delivered one of our high-output water purifiers. And we've been working with our partners on the ground since this past weekend to provide meals.
But now we are deploying a team that can ramp up the meal output and provide much-needed relief to quake victims and volunteers
And please pray for the people of Puerto Rico as well as our staff as we deploy tomorrow.
Gary LeBlanc, Mercy Chefs