Large numbers of people on three continents face hardship in the aftermath.
The Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) is responding to three powerful cyclonic storms, one that blasted the east coast of the U.S., one that crossed the northern Philippines and moved on to China, and a third in the Lower Antilles in the Caribbean, with strong winds and heavy rains, affecting millions and forcing many to evacuate.
“Our emergency team has been tracking these storms closely for several days, and has been pre-positioning aid, coordinating with partners, and deploying response teams to be ready to assist communities as quickly as possible,” said Mario Oliveira, director for emergency management at ADRA International.
All three storms — Hurricane Florence in the U.S., Super Typhoon Mangkhut (Omphong) in the Philippines and China, and Tropical Storm Isaac in the Caribbean — have the potential to cause significant devastation, according to ADRA emergency officials. A fourth storm, Hurricane Helene, is expected to reach the United Kingdom on September 17, meteorologists are predicting.
“We cannot underestimate the power of these storms,” Oliveira added. “As we have seen in the past, they can devastate entire communities and cause havoc. This is why at ADRA we aim to work as swiftly as possible with our teams and our partners to ensure a fast response, and to mitigate the impact of these storms.”
Hurricane Florence, United States
Hurricane Florence made landfall early Friday morning, September 14, on the coasts of North Carolina and South Carolina, blowing ashore with 90-mph winds. Up to 23 casualties have been reported, hundreds of thousands are without power, hundreds of people have been rescued from flooded areas, and many more rescues are underway, according to news reports.
ADRA is working closely with several emergency response partners, including Adventist Community Services (ACS), Partners for Humanity (P4H), and LDS Charities to provide funding and other support.