Conference Disaster Relief and Response

Puerto Rico Earthquake Recovery Effort

Please continue to keep the citizens of Puerto Rico and our brothers and sisters of the Methodist Church of Puerto Rico in your prayers.

On January 7, 2020, a 6.4 magnitude earthquake and several
other strong temblors struck Puerto Rico at 4:24 a.m. followed
by a 5.8 temblor at 7:18 a.m., which is one day after a 5.8 magnitude quake shook the island.

Leaders of the Methodist Church of Puerto Rico (MCPR) and the community outreach program, Rebuilding Communities with
Hope (REHACE) have briefed United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) leaders on the current state of affairs on the
island. 

Early reports indicate that all MCPR /REHACE staff and case managers are safe and accounted for at this time.
Case managers will be doing assessments today of the homes
of participants/clients; the areas directly affected by ​the earthquakes are not areas in which MCPR has been working.

We anticipate that additional information about the condition of the island will be shared later this week. 

Update from the New York Annual Conference

January 8, 2020
The Missions office of the New York Annual Conference (NYAC) has been in almost constant contact with the Methodist Church of Puerto Rico, Rehace leadership and United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) regarding the earthquakes.

Tymera Jackson, Mainland Volunteer Coordinator, has been in dialogue with the volunteer teams that register and deploy through our office, providing them the most recent information we have received.

The situation in Puerto Rico continues to be monitored and assessments are beginning through the existing network of Disaster Case Managers and Project Managers.  

At this point, as almost all volunteer response work is currently taking place in areas not directly affected by the earthquake, Rehace remains ready to receive and deploy volunteer teams. A decision to travel is at the discretion of the volunteer team. Understandably, some have elected to reschedule.

A small group from the mainland, under the auspices of the UMCOR will be traveling to Puerto Rico next week to meet with leadership, visit affected areas, and discuss future response plans. Tom and Wendy Vencuss, from the New York Annual Conference, will be part of this group.

Tom Vencuss is the NYAC Director of Missions and Disaster Response and has been serving as an UMCOR consultant to Puerto Rico. Wendy has served in the ministry of Disaster Emotional and Spiritual Care.

Updates will continue to be provided as they become available.