Hurricane Matthew strikes Haiti’s southwestern provinces.

Hurricane Matthew strikes Haiti’s southwestern provinces.

October 6, 2016 ; Hurricane Matthew delivered a massive strike to Haiti’s southwestern provinces. It’s been three days since the storm and still no word from the mountain villages. We’re heartened by people calling with concern and offers to help. Bridges are out. Landslides are blocking the roads.

Reports from the villages of Camp Perin and Grande Anse provincial capital Jeremie at the base of the mountain show major damage to most houses with metal roofs. With wind loads even greater in the mountains, and construction far less sturdy, it is certain that the houses in Au Centre will have nearly complete roof losses. The sole building with a concrete roof is our Renaissance Elementary School offering refuge to villagers.

With the colder mountain weather and the complete loss of the staple food crops of banana and plantain, our major concern is to help provide shelter and food. Haiti Community Support director Miriam Valme Joseph has readied a response plan which includes using the school lunch facilities to include adults in need of hot food, use of the school house as temporary shelter, medical clinics to get medicine and first aid to the village, provision of hygiene kits to all villagers. She will purchase vital supplies while transport from the capital awaits the construction of a detour road around the lost bridge in Petit Goave to reopen the road to Aux Cayes and Camp Perrin.

We need funds to buy supplies. We’ll keep you all updated as we get news. We cannot wait for any government or aid group to get to the village – their priorities focus on the larger population areas. Haiti Community Support has been and remains the only lifeline for this mountain region.

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