A boy is tended to outside Les Cayes General Hospital after a 7.2-magnitude earthquake on August 15, 2021 in Les Cayes, Haiti. | © Richard Pierrin/Getty Images
After the impact of the earthquake August 14, the South of Haïti risks further destruction from a tropical storm.
HI teams plan to make first contact in the south and Grand'Anse regions.
The 7.2 magnitude earthquake that occurred off the coast of Haiti August 14 has resulted in over 1400 deaths and 6900 people injured.
In preparation for emergency reinforcements arriving Wednesday afternoon, HI staff on-site 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,” says Agathe Lo Presti, HI program director for Haiti. “Organizations 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.”
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 impaired road conditions are expected to worsen.
“A major problem right now is the storm,” Lo Presti says. “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.”