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300 homes destroyed after worst earthquakes in a century. Churches organised prayers on the streets and offer collaboration to the authorities.
A 6.4 magnitude earthquake hit Puerto Rico on 7 January, causing the death of at least one person and the destruction of around 300 homes.
The most affected area of the island was its southern coast (including places like Yauco, Guanica and Guayanilla), where the aftershocks also had a big impact.
Two days later, two thirds of the island was still without power and water cuts affected a quarter of the population.
Main infrastructures were affected, and the Governor declared a state of emergency.
Evangelical pastor Roy Matos told Latin American news website Evangélico Digital: “The ground is shacking. The church is organising circles of prayer in the streets and offering encouragement”.
The Christian leader added: “We are connected with the mayors [of towns and cities] to offer whatever is needed, and ready to face something bigger, since there are forescats that it could happen”.
In 1919, an earthquake and a tsunami killed 116 people in Puerto Rico, causing damages of twice the annual budget of the Island. In 2017, the island was hit by hurricane Maria.
DOMINICAN EVANGELICALS SOLIDARITY
Dominican Republic evangelicals responded to the situation offering prayers and support. The Dominican Council for Evangelical Unity said they would “elevate prayers to the All Powerful to bring hope and consolation to our sister nation”.
They called to pray for Puerto Rican Governor Wanda Vázquez, as well as for the “civil, military and religious authorities”. They underlined the “strong church bonds” between the countries which have “allowed the work among pastors, academics, missionaries and differente Christian confessions, for the benefit of both nations”.
Puerto Rico is a United States territory which has 3.2 million inhabitants. It is situated between the North America and Caribbean tectonic plates, making it vulnerable to earthquakes. Around 30% of the population identifies as evangelical Christian.