Update from Haiti: "It's complete destruction"

An emergency food distribution at a shelter for people who evacuated their homes (photo taken by CARE staff)

Update from Jean-Michel Vigreux, CARE Haiti Country Director:

"It’s complete destruction in Jérémie, the capital of the Southern department of Grande Anse. About 80% of the buildings are gone. All phone lines and electricity are down. The bank is offline.

Access is completely cut off, and everyone is running out of food and money. Everyone is very shaken up.

"There’s already been three cases of cholera in the hospital, but there is no electricity or generator.

CARE has 16 staff there at this moment and we are trying to maintain regular contact, but it is proving very difficult.

"There were five planned communal shelters and now there are 25 additional makeshift shelters that have popped up in past 48 hours for people to seek safety from the rain and winds.

The Southern peninsula of Haiti has been particularly heavily hit. Jacmel, capital of the Department South-East, is badly affected.

"CARE is distributing food in the shelters. The number of people in those shelters have almost doubled in a day, from 2,700 to 4,000 in Jacmel alone. The estimate at this point is that about 15,000 people are currently based in various shelters.

A major concern is the rise of cholera cases that are being reported from those areas that have now been flooded.

"Since the large cholera outbreak in Haiti in the autumn of 2010, the epidemic has been contained but there continue to be outbreaks, the last one shortly before hurricane Matthew.

It is now crucial to contain those cases and make sure that medical treatment, access to safe drinking water and safe shelters are provided.

CARE’s response:

  • CARE has already started distributing food and clean drinking water to some of the emergency shelters in Grand Anse, South-East, and Port-au-Prince.
  • In remote areas of Grand Anse that will be difficult to access after the storm, CARE pre-positioned supplies of clean drinking water, tarps, and blankets for emergency shelter and hygiene kits.
  • Due to the anticipated massive flooding contaminating water sources, CARE is mobilizing to provide clean drinking water and distribute water purification tablets.
  • We will coordinate with the government and UN community to assess the damages and scale up our response as soon as we know more about the needs.

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News and stories are provided by CARE staff working to support our emergency responses and long-term development programmes.