The Virginian: Pat Robertson’s Operation Blessing heads to Ecuador, Japan to help with earthquake relief

Operation Blessing International, Pat Robertson’s nonprofit organization, is helping with disaster relief in Japan and Ecuador following several earthquakes.

The Virginia Beach-based nonprofit has headquarters in Sendai, Japan, about nine hours north of Kumamoto, where a 7.0-magnitude earthquake hit. The organization also has headquarters in Mexico City, about 1,800 miles from Esmeraldas, Ecuador.

Volunteers in Japan arrived in Kumamoto on Sunday, according to a release from Operation Blessing. The city is in the southern part of Japan, near the epicenter of two earthquakes that hit Thursday and Saturday.

The two quakes killed at least 42 people and injured 1,000, The Associated Press reported.

Kumamoto Harvest Church is working with Operation Blessing to distribute generators, water, food and hygiene items to the 200,000 people who are in emergency shelters. Operation Blessing volunteers in Japan will continue to distribute supplies daily.

In Esmeraldas, Operation Blessing volunteers have set up a portable kitchen for displaced residents and first-responders. Volunteers will distribute special generators to purify water as well as emergency supplies.

Ecuador was struck by a 7.8-magnitude earthquake on Saturday, leaving 413 dead and thousands injured and displaced. It’s the worst natural disaster to hit the country since a 1949 earthquake, Ecuadorian president Rafael Correa told the AP.