Our hearts are heavy with the most recent and deadly tragedy that has struck Haiti.
A 7.2 magnitude earthquake (stronger than the 7.0 that caused widespread destruction and left over 250,000 dead in 2010) struck Haiti on Saturday causing appreciable damage and loss of life in the southern region, along the Tiburon peninsula.
Providing emergency response to this region is complicated by difficult road conditions as well as by gangs who block the roads out of Port-au-Prince. The gangs have committed to a truce to allow for the transport of emergency aid, so we are hopeful that aid can get to the thousands of people impacted. At this time, we are talking with other organizations who work in the region to see how we may be able to help from afar.
PWW team members in Port-au-Prince and Cap-Haïtien are safe. However, it is with great sadness that we share that several team members have family in the area who lost their homes and one who lost an uncle. Again, we are working with others to see how we can best support their families.
The PWW team members in Port-au-Prince felt the initial tremors from the earthquake and have felt aftershocks (that are expected to continue for weeks or even months). All have been laden with the horrific memories of 2010 and are feeling the immeasurable stress and fear for their fellow Haitians.
Yesterday (Sunday) Jean Pape Ferolus, PWW’s Chief Project Coordinator in Haiti, shared: “Where I live, the earthquake is no longer causing any damage. The earth is shaking no longer, but last night everyone in our lane slept on empty land out of caution.”
Laura Guerrier, PWW’s Accountant/Office Coordinator in Haiti, expressed: “I felt shocked as I was awake and see the everything around me collapsed. It’s like living a 2010 earthquake again.”
Today and tomorrow, Tropical Storm Grace is scheduled to make its way over the island, with heavy rains expected to cause mudslides and significantly complicate the critical relief efforts.
We will keep you posted about ways in which you can help. Please know how much we appreciate your commitment to, and support of, the people of Haiti.
Time and again, the Haitian people have endured extreme adversity yet continue to demonstrate unimaginable resiliency. Please join us in keeping them in your thoughts and prayers during this very challenging time.
Mesi anpil. Se pou Bondye beni Ayiti.