Haiti was rocked by a powerful earthquake on Saturday, August 14 local time followed by heavy rains from Tropical Storm Grace. The death toll has reached 2,100 and will rise as bodies are recovered from the rubble. More than 20,000 people have been injured and the homes of 50,000 families destroyed. The homes of a further 70,000 have been damaged.
The epicentre of the magnitude 7.2 quake was in the southwest of the country near Les Cayes, the peninsula’s largest city.
Local people are searching for survivors and scrambling to find temporary shelter. Right now people need food, drinking water, medical care and safety.
CWS long term partner, Karl Lévêque Cultural Institute (ICKL) thanks you for your support. It has sent a team to visit some of the affected rural communities near Cavillion. From phone conversations ICKL knows the communities have lost people and homes in the quake. ICKL expects they will need help with shelter materials, water and food. In most cases humanitarian assistance never reaches these communities except through dedicated local organisations like ICKL.
ACT Alliance (Action by Churches Together) of which CWS is a member installed tents at one hospital and mobilised volunteers to assist in rescue efforts in the immediate aftermath. Needs Assessments continue.
Local groups are best placed to support relief efforts and avoid the corruption that has plagued previous responses.
ACT Alliance Haiti reports the immediate needs are for:
- Tents and tarpaulins, temporary shelters, flashlights, emergency power generators;
- hygiene kits, clothes, water, food and first aid kits
- Health workers, rescuers – at least 10 people per municipality affected
- Fuel, vehicles, mobile phones, and SIM cards.
CWS anticipates supporting recovery efforts, likely to involve assistance with shelter and livelihoods.
New Zealanders responded generously to the 2010 earthquake that hit the capital city Port-au-Prince. Families were able to repair and rebuild homes as well as establish new and improved livelihoods.
Donations to the Haiti Earthquake Appeal can be made by phone: 0800 74 73 72 or here.
August 16, 2021
updated August 23, 2021
Images: ACT Alliance