Major earthquake in Haiti, mainly located in the south, with the epicenter in the Nippes region. Les Cayes, third largest town in the country is going through a bad times because persons there watched complete destruction of the town, and at the onset ran away from the town because of the fear of a tsunami. Many houses including hotels have been destroyed with many lives lost. Pestel, Petit Trou de Nippes, Anse a Veau and many of the towns in the southern departments are really suffering with major damages with no organized reaction from the authorities so far. The DPC, the civil protection agency, is well trained, but it lacks resources, especially in the areas affected by the quake, and also most of the decision makers along with major supply depots are in Port-au-Prince. With the problem in Martissant where bandits have effectively locked passage to the south for the past two, or is it three, months, it’s going to be difficult to provide help to those in need. Persons in the affected areas are crying for help, with no water, food, shelter and basic necessities lacking.
As of yesterday, Saturday August 14, there is major damage, while the authorities have not been able to act to help those affected. An unconfirmed report gives a count of over 400 persons dead, while the wounded number in the thousands. The material damages are incalculable, with whole towns like Pestel, Arnaud, Petit Trou de Nippes, Beaumont, Marfranc almost completely destroyed. According to reports, former Senator and Mayor of Les Cayes Jean Gabriel Fortune has died in his hotel, along with many others. There were many people in town to celebrate the feast of Notre Dame which is celebrated on the 15th every year. This feast usually draws a lot of people from all over who come to Gelee, the beach area that people from Les Cayes love to enjoy. Although many people skipped the celebration because of the insecurity, many still made the trip. The earth quake took everyone by surprise and there are many victims.
There has been very little reactions from the government. Former de facto president Jovenel Moise broke up most local governments and never held elections, so the population has no leadership to turn to. All along the south towns are left to themselves with no supplies, hospitals and public works to clear roads and help people. The whole Nippes Department is destroyed with all the towns affected. Persons living in that department have no one to turn to, with the majority of the buildings and houses destroyed.
Haitians everywhere’s need to come together and provide help to those in need. We must forget all that keeps us divided and help our brothers and sisters in need. In the greater south of Haiti we have many victims, not only in the towns, but also in the countryside. This is going to lead to another exodus toward Port-au-Prince and its surrounding areas because persons in the south are not going to stay there and starve. Public works has not reacted yet, as the Ministry of Public Works and Energy has remained absent, with no declaration from the minister. The DPC – Civil Protection Agency – has not shown the leadership needed in those times, as its mission states.
Many persons in Port-au-Prince and sons and daughters of Haiti living abroad must come together to provide help. We must be careful about letting our goodwill be used by politicians who will try to build their image around propaganda. Now is not the time for the opposition to talk on media outlets, but they need to gather their supporters and organize help to those in need. Those who are fighting corruption cannot allow corrupted persons to come out of their lair to puff their chests and act like good people. They are directly responsible for the lack of hospitals and the sad state of the healthcare system. While ready to provide help in whatever amount we each can afford, we need to be watchful that what we give is not used by “Zots” to build political capital.
Sincere condolences to all who lost their lives and those who are hurt and homeless.