ALEXANDRIA, VA -- In the aftermath of multiple high-magnitude earthquakes that hit Puerto Rico last week, The Salvation Army is providing physical, emotional and spiritual care to individuals and families impacted by the disaster, as well as first responders.
With aftershocks still persisting, more than 40,000 people are voluntarily displaced across Puerto Rico due to fears of structural collapse. With many residents still recovering from Hurricane Maria, local "camps" have been established by survivors who are afraid to return to their homes. The Salvation Army continues to work with local authorities such as the Puerto Rico Emergency Management Agency to serve these camps and pinpoint the most impacted areas for ongoing service delivery.
"Our team of 124 and growing is working around the clock to support our brothers and sisters suffering from this ongoing disaster," said Major Eric Rodriguez, Divisional Commander for The Salvation Army in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. "Everywhere we go to provide supplies and services on our island, an overwhelming number of people are requesting emotional and spiritual care to cope with the constant fear of aftershocks. Whether we're serving meals or simply giving a hug, The Salvation Army will continue to be here in Puerto Rico serving the whole person – physically, emotionally and spiritually."
The Salvation Army has had a presence in Puerto Rico since 1962. With four facilities throughout the territory, they were uniquely prepared to serve immediate needs. As part of the local communities, Salvation Army staff and facilities have experienced damage during the quakes, yet they will remain serving on the front lines throughout response and recovery.
Puerto Rico Earthquake Disaster Relief Overview
How to Help
For more information on The Salvation Army's emergency disaster response, visit disaster.salvationarmyusa.org.