Central Florida man will fly water purifiers to earthquake-stricken Puerto Rico

A Central Florida man is packing up and flying out to Puerto Rico to help those in need by installing water purification systems.

Several earthquakes have jolted Puerto Rico this month, serving a blow to an island where thousands continue to live under blue tarps. On Thursday morning, a 5.1 magnitude earthquake struck Puerto Rico, collapsing already unstable homes and businesses and many fear the worst may not be over yet.


Brevard County resident Joe Hurston of Air Mobile Ministries is familiar with disaster. After Hurricane Maria ravaged Puerto Rico, he used his plane to fly in supplies in generators. 

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“What happens in an earthquake is it breaks those water lines up underground,” Hurston said. “Now you’ve got all these broken lines that you’re mixing sewage in if you’re getting any water pressure at all.”

Now he’s flying back to survey the damage and get his water purifiers up and running for the island. 

“People are terrified to sleep in a house and that just disrupts your whole life,” he said.

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Hurston told FOX 35 News that he plans to build more water purification systems right in Brevard County to fly over to the island. He’s outfitting his purifiers and generators with better batteries and solar technology so that they can stay up and running longer.

“This thing is still popping and you have a grid and an infrastructure that has been dramatically shaken,” Hurston said.

He said he worries that the worst of the quakes are not over yet and wants to help people get back on their feet, even if the ground is still shaking.

“I feel this is really is a call from God,” he said.

Tune in to FOX 35 News at 5 and 6 p.m. to hear more about Joe's efforts to help Puerto Rico.