Samaritan's Purse responding to Haiti earthquake

Christian relief organization rushing to help after earthquake rocks impoverished Caribbean nation

CALGARY, Jan. 12 /CNW/ - Samaritan's Purse is rushing to assist in Haiti after a 7.0-magnitude earthquake rocked the desperately poor Caribbean nation late Tuesday afternoon, toppling houses and public buildings, including a hospital, and leaving victims running through the streets in terror.

Samaritan's Purse is sending staff to lead an emergency response that will likely include food, drinking water, cooking kits, hygiene kits, and construction materials to build temporary shelters. The relief agency has been involved in Haiti for many years through partnerships with several Christian organizations there - including some preparing to distribute a new shipment of gift-filled Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes from Canada.

"The Haitian government has issued a plea for help and we are responding," said John Clayton, Samaritan's Purse Canada's executive director. "We're asking Canadians to join us in this emergency humanitarian effort. Haiti is already one of the world's poorest countries, so the need for outside assistance is enormous."

The earthquake struck about 15 kilometers southwest of the Haitian capital Port-au-Prince shortly before 5:00 p.m., with a 5.9-magnitude aftershock about a half hour later, and others since then. It could be felt strongly in the eastern Cuban city of Santiago, about 250 miles west of Port-au-Prince. Officials have warned there could be a regional tsunami, causing coastline flooding.

Donations Needed

To support this urgent relief and recovery work, call 1-800-663-6500 or visit www.samaritanspurse.ca.

About Samaritan's Purse Canada

Samaritan's Purse Canada is an international Christian relief and development organization working in about 70 countries to provide aid to victims of war, disease, disaster, poverty, famine, and persecution. The Calgary-based charity also operates the well-known Operation Christmas Child program that sends gift-filled shoe boxes to needy children around the world each year, and the Turn on the Tap initiative that raises funds for life-saving BioSand Water Filters in the developing world. Go to www.samaritanspurse.ca for more information.

SOURCE Samaritan's Purse Canada

For further information: For further information: Media Inquiries: Jeff Adams, Director, Communications and Creative Services Dept., Samaritan's Purse Canada, 1-800-663-6500 or (403) 615-8747, jadams@samaritan.ca


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