Update on CMMB Response to Hurricane Matthew
Update from our team in Haiti (October 5, 2016):
Winds and rain continue to be severe. We are happy to report that all our staff and volunteers are safe and ready to respond once the storm has subsided and needs are properly assessed. They are grateful for everyone’s thoughts, prayers, and messages of encouragement.
They were able to shoot a short video before stronger winds and rain forced them to take cover:
Hurricane Matthew made landfall in Haiti around 8am EDT on Tuesday morning with sustained wind speeds of 140 mph and very heavy rain. The worst-hit population center was around Les Cayes, at the western tip of the island. In all areas, trees were uprooted, houses damaged, and flooding severe. Port-au-Prince has also been seriously affected. Crops are likely to have been damaged and water supplies affected. We can also confirm reports that the primary bridge connecting Port-au-Prince to western Haiti has collapsed. Without the bridge, the only way to reach western Haiti by road is by a small turn-off near a town called Bassio, over rough terrain that may prove impassable for many vehicles.
About 20 construction workers stayed overnight October 3 at the Bishop Joseph Sullivan Center for Health, which is still under construction. Thankfully, no extensive major damage was reported at the work site so far. Early in the morning of October 4, during a lull in the winds, about 40 members of the Côtes-de-fer community arrived seeking shelter. Apparently their homes were destroyed overnight, so our staff has them sheltered in the hospital building.
Even before the hurricane made landfall, CMMB was assessing its inventory of medicine and medical supplies to determine how to best position them for greatest impact. We are working with pharmaceutical and in-country partners and other supporters, as it is clear that a significant emergency response is required.
Primary needs focus on:
- Water purification
- Basic non-food items (e.g., buckets, tarpaulins for shelter)
- Medical supplies
As water sources have been significantly affected by the storm, the specter of cholera is especially worrying. Once our rapid assessment is complete, we will know where to focus our response and how large it might need to be.
We are seeking support for our emergency response efforts. All donations intended for Hurricane Matthew relief will be designated for immediate emergency response and mid-term recovery efforts in Haiti. Updates will continue to be posted here.