Earthquake Haiti 2010
Alyssa Stone Deaconess Intern Les Cayes, Haiti
The atmosphere here in Haiti is extremely somber. People are frightened. It has been difficult because there is little to no communication. People wait and worry as the days go by and they donâ€™t hear from their loved ones who were in or near Port au Prince at the time of the quake.
Damage in Les Cayes
There was a little structural damage in the Les Cayes area: several houses collapsed, some walls fell, some cracks appeared in buildings. Yet the most damage done was psychological. There are no crisis councilors here; people deal with their fears in different ways. I believe that a lot of the recent physical ailments are actually a result of stress.
Views from Port au Prince
We have talked to several hospital administrators and health workers who are extremely frustrated. There is a severe lack of medical personnel, space, supplies and proper equipment to take care of the cases that are coming in from the outlying areas. The UN are now setting up military tents on the soccer field so that many incoming patients have a place to stay until there is room at the hospital.
UN setting up tents for hospital
Yesterday, January 14, several of us drove to Port au Prince in search of family members. The closer we got to Port au Prince, the more damage we saw. Buildings were crushed, roads and bridges were split, boulders and rocks were scattered across some of the roads. Upon entering Port au Prince, we saw more damage as well as bodies scattered throughout the city.
Bodies in the rubble and in heaps.
People are scared to sleep inside their houses. In Port au Prince, many are putting up sheets and tarps on poles in the medians of the main roads. Homemade tent communities are going up all over, even here in Les Cayes. The people are awaiting more shakes. They believe that something this powerful came from the hand of God. They are terror-stricken.
Even if the shakes are over, the damage is continuing. Many of our supplies come from the Port au Prince. We are preparing for a shortage in gas and other supplies. There is also a fear of a lack of food for those who remain in Port au Prince. People are leaving the capital city by the bus loads. Another big fear is that as more big trucks travel the national highway, the damage will get worse. The road to Port au Prince will become impassable.
There is so much structural damage and little to no money to rebuild. The psychological damage is severe as people await more devastation. We need medical supplies, medical personnel, equipment to rebuild and the manpower to help in that rebuilding.
Most of all, we need prayer for healing and peace. Thank you and Godâ€™s blessings!