This is unbelievable.
A major earthquake hit Puerto Rico on Monday, followed up by an even more massive quake yesterday morning with SIX TIMES the force that registered 6.4 on the Richter Scale.
The quake has impacted hundreds of thousands and experts are already estimating $3.1 billion in damages and economic losses to the island. This was the second earthquake in two days at a time when Puerto Rico is still recovering from the impact of Hurricane Maria. And to make matters worse, the center of the earthquake strike is near to where Maria came ashore two years ago.
Mercy Chefs' church partners in Puerto Rico who are right at "ground zero" of the earthquake's impact are reporting to us grim scenes. Their church has been damaged, yet they are already spearheading efforts to bring relief to their community. Earlier today, I dispatched funds to help our church partners with the initial response. Our partners who served with us in the Bahamas are onsite and assessing needs for us to mobilize and provide the items of greatest need.
Here's how I'm asking you to help today...
FIRST, pray for the people of Puerto Rico. Fear has gripped the island. Earlier today, 300,000 were without water service. Pray for protection and safety for those on the island.
SECOND, please prayerfully consider helping Mercy Chefs as we respond to the earthquake. Because of our work in response to Hurricane Maria, we are uniquely positioned to help. As I noted, we are already providing resources to our church partners who are on the scene, but I want to do much more -- especially in the immediate aftermath of these quakes.
As I noted, we are in close contact with our church partners, who are assessing the damages and scouting possible locations for a kitchen. Right now, I want to make sure our partners on the ground are fully equipped to respond to the immediate crisis.
Thanks you for partnering with Mercy Chefs, and God bless you!
Gary LeBlanc, Mercy Chefs