Damaged building at a public secondary school in Petit-Trou-de-Nippes
As I am sure you have heard, a 7.2 magnitude earthquake struck southern Haiti over the weekend. Our hearts go out to everyone as they face the aftermath of significant shaking and now Tropical Depression Grace.
The earthquake was felt by all of our staff in Haiti, and the epicenter was close to Anse-a-Veau, where our team member, Gefthé Dévilmé lives. We have been working with the community to prepare for earthquakes and understand the safest actions to take. We are able to communicate with Gefthé using WhatsApp. He and his family are safe, although the damage in his area is severe. Many buildings suffered significant damage.
Damaged home in Anse-à-Veau
Since the mainshock, there have been hundreds of aftershocks. Community members conducting search and rescue face danger from further building damage during aftershocks. Gefthé is documenting schools and homes damaged in Anse-à-Veau and nearby communities. One spot of good news came when he visited the home built in 2017 for an elder, Mme. Seide, a demonstration that he oversaw to teach disaster-resistant construction. Her home is still in good condition.
Madame Seide's house is safe.
Throughout the weekend our Haiti team has been busy disseminating information to the public and answering their questions through radio shows. Gefthé is keeping in touch using his cell phone and a solar powered charger, while collecting information on local impact.
On Haiti’s north coast, our Haiti country lead Garmalia Mentor-William, Windy Previl, and Jean-Brunel Pierre have been in the midst of activities for our Timoun an Aksyon (Kids in Action) project, which is empowering youth to take action on disaster preparedness. Some of the youth felt their first earthquake on Saturday, which highlighted the urgency of their training. Following the earthquake, the team received a surge in requests from parents wanting their children to join the Timoun an Aksyon Youth Resilience Club.
Youth Resilience Club receiving training. For many of these youth this is their first earthquake.
A clear understanding of the situation on the ground is still developing. As communications come in from difficult-to-reach areas, a more complete picture of needs will emerge.
Thank you for caring and helping us stand beside our Haitian friends at this challenging time. We plan to send an update in a few days with more information.
Veronica Cedillos, President & CEO
Bhutan · Dominican Republic · Haiti · India · Nepal · U.S.A.