OTR Interviews

Samaritan's Purse Is On Hand for Possible Humanitarian Catastrophe in Japan

This is a rush transcript from "On the Record," March 14, 2011. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, FOX NEWS HOST: This is a Fox News alert. It is getting worse. The Japanese prime minister warning residents near the Fukushima Daiichi plant to stay inside or risk getting radiation sickness. A warning that radiation is spewing from damaged reactors at the power plant.

The chief cabinet secretary announced just moments ago that a fourth reactor was on fire and that more radiation was being released. Prime Minister Kan warns anyone living within 19 miles from the Fukushima Daiichi complex to stay inside.

And Samaritan's Purse is all over the world doing humanitarian relief work. And,, yes now they are sending aid to Japan. Staff members are delivering supplies to the millions in Japan. As you may remember, we went to Haiti with Samaritan's Purse last year after that catastrophic 7.0 magnitude quake destroyed that country.

President and CEO of Samaritan's Purse, Reverend Franklin Graham, joins us on the phone. Good evening. And tell me, what is Samaritan's Purse doing for the people of Japan?

THE REV. FRANKLIN GRAHAM, SAMARITAN'S PURSE (Via Telephone): Good evening, Greta. First my prayers to the people of Japan, and I would encourage everybody who is watching to pray for these people suffering so much.

Samaritan's Purse, the day after the quake we called our partners in Japan. These are churches that I have worked with I was in Osaka last October preaching. Our chairman put us in contact with other church leaders and we sent money that day, $200,000. We asked them to begin to lease trucks, buy blankets, water. We've got permission now to enter the effective zone.

And so Samaritan's Purse has a team helping the Japanese churches respond. I think in a manner that will be appropriate to this situation. Greta, it's a mess. And our people on the ground say they haven't seen anything like this before.

VAN SUSTEREN: Reverend, I know Samaritan's Purse because I've traveled with you, all over the world it has hospitals and charity organizations. I've been to Haiti with you. In Haiti there is no infrastructure and so much of a challenge there. Here in Japan you have an infrastructure, government, but you have nuclear power plants that are threatening people so it has a different challenge.

GRAHAM: It is a different challenge. The infrastructure has collapsed. What people don't understand is that miles inland bridges have collapsed or railroads. So it is very difficult to get materials into this area. It is going to take weeks for the government to be able to put some of the infrastructure back into the area.

These people are in trouble. We've got a 747 that we are sending over Friday, with things they've asked for, water purification equipment. These are units similar to what you saw in Haiti. One of the big problems right now is fresh drinking water. We are shipping that over there, airfreight as quick as we can.

VAN SUSTEREN: It's interesting, I've learned, that you have the challenge of getting these materials into the country. Sometimes you have customs issues. Is Japan like a country that is going to be easy to move things into from our country that country?

GRAHAM: It is. There is not going to be a problem. They are grateful for help. The government is asking for help. We are responding to the things that the government is asking for.

VAN SUSTEREN: I've put up Samaritan's Purse website on Gretawire.com. I take it anyone who wants to send any amount of money to help buy blankets and food you will take that, right?

GRAHAM: You better believe it. And it's times like this even a small donation makes all the difference. You look at that rubble and wonder how many are clinging to life right now waiting and hoping somebody will discover them. That's why we need to pray for them.

VAN SUSTEREN: Reverend Graham, thank you.

GRAHAM: Thank you.