CATEGORY 5-rated Hurricane Maria is passing through a swathe of Caribbean islands, many of which had already been severely damaged by Hurricane Irma. The storm, with wind speeds of 160 mph (260 kmh) has made landfall in Dominica, and is threatening catastrophic damage and storm surges in its wake. At present, the track of the storm means that the Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico and the Turks and Caicos islands are most at risk.
WHEN Hurricane Matthew swept across the Caribbean in early October 2016, it caused huge devastation across Haiti – particularly in the south of the country. Around 2.1 million people were affected, with 1.4 million people needing humanitarian assistance of whom more than 800,000 required urgent food assistance. The Salvation Army in Haiti reacted quickly, providing cooked meals for several days for 800 people in emergency shelters. This was quickly followed by the provision of rice, beans, oil and corn to approximately 4,000 people.
AS European leaders seek to deal with what an EU (European Union) representative called the worst refugee crisis since the Second World War, The Salvation Army is responding across the continent, providing practical, emotional and spiritual support.
The Salvation Army in South America is providing assistance to people affected by devastating floods and mudslides. At least 24 people have lost their lives in Peru and Chile, with many more made homeless.
The city of Chosica, in Peru, was the first to be affected by torrential rain, which set off mudslides that buried everything in their way. At least seven people were killed and 65 houses destroyed. A Salvation Army team, working in coordination with Civil Defense and municipal authorities of Chosica, has provided material assistance and spiritual support.
EBOLA is a health crisis ‘unparalleled in modern times’ according to the United Nations, while US President Barack Obama has described tackling the outbreak as a ‘daunting task’. The Salvation Army is now stepping up its emergency response in the West African nation of Liberia.
THE recent eruption of Mount Sinabung in Indonesia is making increased demands on The Salvation Army’s 'Compassion in Action' team which is working in the region. The volcano actually began erupting in September 2013, since when The Salvation Army has been meeting the needs of people displaced by the disaster. Since late January the volcanic activity has become even more violent, so far claiming at least 16 lives.
The earthquake that generated the great Indian Ocean tsunami of 2004 is estimated to have released the energy of 23,000 Hiroshima-type atomic bombs, according to the US Geological Survey. Giant forces that had been building up deep in the Earth for hundreds of years were released suddenly on December 26, shaking the ground violently and unleashing a series of killer waves that sped across the Indian Ocean at the speed of a jet airliner.
The Salvation Army has helped more than a quarter of a million people throughout India, Indonesia, and Sri Lanka recover from the December 2004 Tsunami. A full-time presence in the affected region since the 1890's enabled the Army to begin providing immediate disaster relief and emergency assistance, The Salvation Army provided food, clothing, water, temporary shelter, household supplies and health care to more than 30,000 people.
Salvationists in western India are still helping families cope with the aftermath of the severe flooding that effected the region. Dramatic footage of rising water may no longer feature on major media outlets but the damage of more than a month ago continues to make life a challenge for many thousands of people.
The underwater earthquake off the coast of Indonesia which struck on 26 December 2004 created a tsunami which devastated coastal communities across Asia. Besides the loss of life and property, it shattered family life, leaving people homeless and helpless. The survivors needed urgent support in the form of food, water, clothing, temporary shelter and essential services such as medical care and counselling.
A Spirit of Cooperation
by Major Ron Lee with photos by Rudi Tinga
The people of Indonesia are extremely resilient -- and they have needed to be -- but their courage and adaptability have been matched by The Salvation Army's flexibility and willingness to help.
After the devastating tsunami at the end of 2004 the local Salvation Army was quickly in the thick of things, providing quick-reaction medical teams.
Dispatches to International Headquarters from Salvation Army teams working in the areas affected by the South Asia tsunami provide the following snapshots.
In the Indian South Eastern Territory, thousands of food parcels have been distributed in Kanyakmari District, where The Salvation Army's hospital ambulance, at the request of the police, has been used frequently to transport dead bodies recovered from the wreckage of buildings.
Another Salvation Army ambulance has transported doctors and medical supplies to stricken areas.
Clothing, blankets and cooking utensils have also …
Nearly 10,000 people have been made refugees by a volcanic eruption on Manam Island, Papua New Guinea. The eruption began in October but, as it became more violent it was thought necessary to evacuate the entire island.