Author: Loyd Jenkins
Well, you might have heard that Puerto Rico was hit by a massive blackout this week, which wiped out the electricity across the island. Apparently, this was due to a private contractor that downed a transmission line. When I heard about that I wondered why there wasn’t, or isn’t, any redundant lines. You would think that redundancy would prevent accidents like this.
But, not to worry. Power has been restored Thursday afternoon, according to the Puerto Rican electrical energy authority. So I contacted one of our partners on the island to get an update on whether they did, indeed have power.
Ricardo Sanabria, Director of Somebody Cares Puerto Rico, indicated just this morning that while they do have power, that it’s not good. The island’s power grid is just too fragile and the people there are anxious and giving way to despair.
We need to keep Puerto Rico in our prayers because the island remains vulnerable to outages due to the fast-approaching threat of this next hurricane season, which typically runs from May to the end of October. Power outages have very real consequences for the people on the island: schools are interrupted, hospitals have to suspend treatments and surgeries, and refrigeration becomes a big problem.
At a hurricane disaster round-table a couple of weeks ago, I heard firsthand reports about the long-term effects of such natural disasters on the people and area churches. It has been estimated that over 283 churches have closed. Senior Pastor, Ray Motes of Catacumba 5 Church said, “For several years we have been fortunate to be passed over by so many hurricanes… until Hurricane Maria. And now, it has devastated us. But what can we do? We pray and help those in need where we can and try to prepare for future threats that may come.”
Currently, International Aid is still working with partners in the affected areas. We thank God for all of our donor-friends that have supported us in our work to help provide disaster relief in Puerto Rico and our southern Gulf coast. Please join us with unceasing prayer so that we can be as effective as possible for the people and families of Puerto Rico–who still need our help and will for some time to come.