HI teams assessing situation in the south and Grand'Anse regions.
The 7.2 magnitude earthquake that occurred off the coast of Haiti on 14th August has so far resulted in over 1,400 deaths and 6,900 people injured.
In preparation for emergency reinforcements arriving on Wednesday afternoon, Humanity & Inclusion (HI) staff in Haiti plan to perform assessments in affected areas as soon as possible. Teams will travel to the South and to the Grand’Anse regions to evaluate ports, make contact with local authorities and collect information regarding hospital needs.
“We plan to go to the Grand’Anse region, because there is a lot of need and very few NGOs responding. Organisations don’t go because it is very isolated and very complicated to access, with a widely dispersed population and very limited means of communication among the mountains. But, even though Grand’Anse was not hit as hard as the South, the health infrastructure is much more limited. After hurricane Matthew, the area was much more vulnerable, so we know there is great need.”
Agathe Lo Presti, HI Haiti program director
Ongoing tropical depression alert
The trips from HI offices in Port au Prince to the affected zones can take up to 13 hours by car. With the ongoing tropical depression alert, domestic flights are uncertain and the already poor road conditions are expected to worsen.
“A major problem right now is the storm. According to the latest news, it is much more powerful than we thought, and will surely have a significant impact on the South. We’re expecting a lot of damage, heavy rain, and landslides. So, we’re trying to follow the weather situation, but it’s important to get to the field quickly, and particularly to that area.”
HI teams have identified three areas of priority for their assessments:
- medical support (including care for the wounded and emergency rehabilitation),
- logistics support
- and essential needs (food, shelter, sanitation and hygiene).