7th August 2020
UPDATE (12. Aug.): The plane landed safely in Lebanon on 12 Aug., and our team has begun work on the ground there to relieve suffering among the thousands affected by this disaster. Please continue praying.
Samaritan’s Purse DC-8 aircraft left Greensboro, North Carolina, on Friday for Beirut, Lebanon, with a 14-member Disaster Assistance Response Team and 26 tonnes of desperately needed relief supplies. The cargo includes thousands of hygiene kits, solar lights, and hundreds of rolls of heavy-duty tarp material to make emergency repairs to homes and churches.
Beirut’s citizens who are still reeling after a terrible explosion rocked their city on Tuesday evening. The catastrophe killed more than 200 people (death toll updated on 10. Aug), injured thousands, and left 300,000 displaced.
Working with a longtime church partner in the area, we will distribute relief supplies and evaluate how we can best serve those who are hurting.
“The country and the people are devastated,” said Samaritan’s Purse President Franklin Graham. “Please pray for the families who lost loved ones and those who have been most impacted by this horrible incident.”
Before the explosion, the Lebanese people were already suffering from a deep economic crisis as well as the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“It’s just devastating. It’s completely unfathomable. We’ve never had anything like this before even in the civil war [1975-1990] in Lebanon,” said our Beirut church partner.*
He asked that we pray for the Light of Christ to shine through his church members as they assist and for wisdom for those who are leading the effort on the ground.
Before leaving for Lebanon on Friday, Disaster Assistance Reponse Team member Bev Kauffeldt said: “The explosion caused a crater that was over 400 feet in diameter, and damage was reported 20 kilometers away from the explosion. The blast generated the equivalent of a 3.5 magnitude earthquake in the area. We really need your prayers for those who have been affected.”
*Name withheld for security.
Note: This article was originally published on 5 Aug. and significantly revised to include the airlift on 7 Aug. Minor updates were made on 8, 10 and 12 Aug.