A North Carolina-based Christian relief organization has chartered a Boeing 747 cargo jet to airlift a helicopter and tons of emergency supplies to Indonesia's tsunami-ravaged Sumatra Island, expanding its ongoing relief work in South Asia.
After last month's magnitude-9.0 earthquake triggered devastating tsunamis that killed over 156,000 people across South Asia, entire villages were wiped out and many roads and bridges destroyed, cutting off thousands of survivors from the help they desperately need. The only way to reach these stranded survivors is by helicopter, so we need to get more air support there as soon as possible, said Franklin Graham, president of Samaritans Purse.
Samaritans Purse, which has provided spiritual and physical aid to hurting people around the world since 1970, will be sending off its Airlift of Mercy to South Asia Monday, Jan. 17 from Charlotte-Douglas International Airport in Charlotte, N.C.
According to the agency, the airlift will include a helicopter, 1,400 rolls of reinforced plasticenough to build shelters for more than 8,000 families, 15 tons of blankets, ten large filters that can provide water daily for 30,000 people, medical supplies, and a power generator. The airlift is part of a $4 million tsunami aid effort by Samaritans Purse.
In addition to the airlift, Graham will be heading to South Asia to oversee the Samaritans Purse relief efforts and assess the long-term needs of the region.
Currently, Samaritans Purse has teams on the ground in Sumatra and Sri Lanka, helping to meet four critical needs: water, food, shelter, and medical care.