IsraAID Launches Puerto Rico Earthquake Response

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January 8, 2020

Israeli NGO’s local team to support affected communities and assess situation.

08 January 2020. For immediate release:

Israeli non-governmental humanitarian aid agency IsraAID is currently assessing needs on the ground in Puerto Rico following the 6.4 magnitude earthquake that struck the island yesterday, January 7th. The earthquake's full impact is still unclear, but it has reportedly caused at least one fatality and infrastructural damage across the island. Aftershocks have continued into today, January 8th, and one third of the US territory’s population – over one million people – have been left without access to basic services, including electricity and water. The earthquake comes after dozens of tremors and smaller seismic events over the past ten days.

IsraAID’s team on the ground launched its initial needs assessment on January 7th and will be travelling to the affected area today in order to determine the organization’s first response activities. The team will conduct a rapid, on-the-ground needs assessment, focusing on distributing relief items, providing Psychological First Aid, and safe water and sanitation solutions for the affected population. A response plan will be built, utilizing IsraAID’s years of experience in disaster relief worldwide, focusing on Water, Sanitation and Hygiene and mental health support.

IsraAID has had a team in Puerto Rico since Hurricane Maria devastated the Caribbean island in September 2017, claiming nearly 3,000 lives and leaving communities without electricity for more than eight months. Throughout 2019, IsraAID’s long-term recovery programming has focused on providing disaster-resistant water access in the remote community of El Real, Patillas, developing community emergency response plans in El Real, and bolstering post-trauma psychosocial support within the island’s education system.

In recent years, the humanitarian NGO has responded to multiple disasters across the region, including hurricanes in the Bahamas, Dominica, Puerto Rico, and the United States, earthquakes in Mexico, the Fuego volcano eruption in Guatemala, and the Venezuelan displacement crisis in Colombia.

Donations to support IsraAID’s disaster relief efforts can be made through the IsraAID Emergency Response Fund.