A powerful 7.2 magnitude earthquake struck Haiti's Tiburon Peninsula on Saturday, August 14 at 8:29 a.m., about 150 kilometres west of the capital, Port-au-Prince. Much of the damage occurred in the towns of Jérémie and Les Cayes. The force of the earthquake was felt across almost the entire country, including the Ouest department.
From Development and Peace
This disaster has severely affected the southern region including the department of Grande-Anse, and the department of Nippes / Diocese Anse-à-Veau where the epicentre of the earthquake hit the town of Petit-Trou-de-Nippes particularly hard.
This earthquake has caused enormous damage. The civil protection agency’s toll on August 15 at 7:00 p.m. was 1,300 dead and more than 5,700 injured, and 13,600 houses destroyed with more than 30,250 families needing shelter. 800,000 peoples are directly affected. Haitians are also now preparing for the arrival of a tropical storm.
Many businesses, municipal buildings, schools and homes have collapsed and many water sources are contaminated. Several structures of the Catholic Church in the diocese of Les Cayes were deeply damaged by this earthquake.
In Port-a-Piment, the road to Labei is cut off from the rest of the region and is inaccessible to vehicles. Elsewhere in the country, roads are damaged or blocked by landslides and deeply cracked causing minor flooding, cracks and stratification in the countryside and on the roads. A disaster that brings back the tragic memories of the earthquake that occurred in 2010. Fearing aftershocks, many people are preferring to sleep outside. The need for food, water, shelter, clothing and blankets, as well as medical personnel and first aid supplies, first aiders and hygiene kits, vehicles, motorcycles and fuel is enormous.
The government, through Prime Minister Ariel Henry, at the National Emergency Operation Center in Port-au-Prince has declared a "state of emergency" for one month. Caritas Haiti is participating in the various coordination spaces at the level of the three departments affected by this earthquake. The national risk management plan has been activated. Arrangements are being made to help the population. Some organizations are already in action, like us.
Development and Peace's partners, ITECA and Caritas Haiti, have jumped into action by sending relief trucks and assessment teams to the affected regions. These are the same regions whose very recovery you generously supported after Hurricane Matthew in 2016. Thanks to your help, ITECA built 25 new earthquake resistant homes in the commune of Cavaillon. On August 15, ITECA visited 14 of these homes built in 2017 and 2018, 13 of which withstood this new earthquake perfectly. ITECA is currently verifying the other 9 houses built with the support of Development and Peace in other localities.
Today, our partners once again need your support to intensify their relief efforts and to develop a sustainable recovery program.
The situation is expected to worsen as a tropical depression (named Grace) is expected to bring torrential rains and, potentially, landslides and flooding to the areas.