The Rev. Franklin Graham has posted a video showcasing some of the devastation the nation of Antigua and Barbuda suffered in the wake of Hurricane Irma, stating that it is “like a bomb went off” on the island.
“When the storm came through here on September 6, it devastated this island. Every home, basically destroyed. Every home,” Graham says in a Facebook video on Tuesday, which shows him and other members of his Samaritan’s Purse relief organization walking through destroyed houses and buildings in Barbuda.
“No one is permitted to spend the night here, it’s like a bomb went off,” he added, noting that students volunteering with Liberty University also came to help.
The evangelist said that the relief workers are there to make a difference in “Jesus’ name.”
“This part of the world is going to need a lot of help, and we’re going to have teams out here for months to come,” he added.
Samaritan’s Purse, which is one of the many organizations involved in various relief efforts across the Caribbean after it was hit hard by several hurricanes earlier this month, said in a statement that it sent more than 212 metric tons of relief supplies on Sunday, marking its 10th Caribbean hurricane relief trip.
The group explained that it has distributed more than 200 emergency shelter tarps and hygiene kits in Dominica, while its disaster assistance response team is assisting families as they clean up their homes and clear debris in Barbuda.
Khin-Sandi Lwin, UNICEF representative for the Eastern Caribbean, said in a separate report that children have been hit hard by losing their homes.
“These children witnessed a horrific hurricane that tore their homes away, destroyed their schools and left the island they called home totally in tatters. They will need lots of help to deal with the trauma associated with those experiences,” Lwin noted, adding that Barbuda was among the hardest hit by Hurricane Irma, forcing many to evacuate to Antigua.
The organization said that it is helping more than 170,000 children from affected areas, and has supplied three million chlorine tablets for distribution.
Other islands hit exceptionally hard include Puerto Rico. The U.S. territory was wrecked by Hurricane Maria to such an extent that it has lost virtually all cellular, internet, and email service, with the electrical grid system expected to be down for months.
Jesuit Father Flavio Bravo, the superior of the Society of Jesus’ Puerto Rico community, said on Friday that the situation on the island is nothing short of “apocalyptic.”
Bravo said that even in the midst of tragedy, “we are seeking the greater glory of God,” adding that the feeling he hangs onto is of “gratitude to God” and gratitude for those “who have not allowed us to feel the emptiness.”
Watch Graham’s video from Barbuda below:
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