UPDATE (Aug. 8): The plane has landed safely in Lebanon, and our team will soon begin work on the ground there. Please continue praying.
Samaritan’s Purse DC-8 aircraft left Greensboro, North Carolina, on August 7 for Beirut, Lebanon, with a 14-member Disaster Assistance Response Team and 26 tons of desperately needed relief supplies. The cargo includes thousands of hygiene kits, solar lights, and hundreds of rolls of heavy-duty tarp material to make emergency repairs to homes and churches.
Beirut’s citizens who are still reeling after a terrible explosion rocked their city on Tuesday evening. The catastrophe killed more than 200 people (death toll updated on Aug. 10), injured thousands, and left 300,000 displaced.
Working with a longtime church partner in the area, we will distribute relief supplies and evaluate how we can best serve those who are hurting.
“The country and the people are devastated,” said Samaritan’s Purse President Franklin Graham. “Please pray for the families who lost loved ones and those who have been most impacted by this horrible incident.”
Before the explosion, the Lebanese people were already suffering from a deep economic crisis as well as the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“It’s just devastating. It’s completely unfathomable. We’ve never had anything like this before even in the civil war [1975-1990] in Lebanon,” said our Beirut church partner.*
He asked that we pray for the Light of Christ to shine through his church members as they assist and for wisdom for those who are leading the effort on the ground.
Before leaving for Lebanon on Friday, Disaster Assistance Reponse Team member Bev Kauffeldt said: “The explosion caused a crater that was over 400 feet in diameter, and damage was reported 20 kilometers away from the explosion. The blast generated the equivalent of a 3.5 magnitude earthquake in the area. We really need your prayers for those who have been affected.”
*Name withheld for security.
Note: This article was originally published on Aug. 5 and significantly revised to include the airlift on Aug. 8. Minor updates were made on Aug. 10.
Samaritan's Purse responds to humanitarian crises with physical aid and a message of spiritual hope for victims of natural disasters, famine, poverty, and war. Your gift will allow us to share Jesus' love through clean water, food, shelter, medical supplies, personnel, and other aid.