Hurricane Matthew made landfall on the southwestern peninsula of Haiti
and Haiti Outreach is responding with relief assistance
An in-country Haiti Outreach team is deploying to the area, along with a “friends of Haiti Outreach” medical group, to do our best to provide relief in any way we can. We will be assessing the needs of the area, and how we can work to restore clean water access wherever possible.
This page will be updated as the team arrives to the affected area and our plan develops further.
We received an incredible response to our Hurricane Matthew Relief Campaign. 100% of donations made to this special campaign will go towards these Hurricane Matthew relief efforts:
- Deployment of a medical team, comprised of local Haitian doctors
- Purchase of necessary medical supplies
- Materials and manpower to provide clean water
- Repairing of damaged water systems to return water to affected communities
- Any other humanitarian aid we have the resources and manpower to do
Haiti Outreach Hurricane Field Report
Oct 26 – 28
The Haiti Outreach team arrived safely in Les Anglais after many hours of driving. The roads are still rough going on the southern peninsula. After further assessment and conversation with local authorities and DINEPA, the team started digging in to make the needed repairs. Many people in the community accompanied them during this process and they cheered when the team successfully repaired the damage and water once again flowed to their homes.
With tools and pipe in tow, a 3 person Haiti Outreach team is in route to Les Anglais to work on getting one of the town’s two water systems back online. As 30 cholera cases were reported in Les Anglais last week, returning clean water access to the 143 houses connected to this system is crucial to the families’ continued health and decreasing the spread of cholera.
Two weeks on from Hurricane Matthew, humanitarian aid and assistance is reaching those that need it. Roads are being cleared, schools are reopening and water is being delivered to children and families in affected areas. Cholera remains a major threat, with an increase in suspected cases that are yet to be confirmed.
Official figures from the Civil Protection Department remain at 546 people dead and 128 missing.
Haiti Outreach Country Director Neil Van Dine evaluated the water system in Les Anglais that was damaged by the storm. At the time of the storm, 143 houses relied on this water system for their daily water needs. Haiti Outreach has communicated with the local authorities to discuss repairs of the well. Hopefully, by next week it will be back online and functioning as it did before the storm.
A “friends of Haiti Outreach” medical team set up mobile medical clinics near the town of Les Anglais. Focusing on an area showing a spike in cholera case, the medical team saw over 170 patients in 24 hours time. Few doctors are currently in the area, and the need is great. By mid-day the team’s medical supplies ran out. Although they were able to purchase more, the team again ran out of medical supplies by the end of the day.
The UN reports an estimated 1,250,000 people, including 500,000 children, need safe water and adequate sanitation to help prevent the spread of diseases, especially cholera. Haiti Outreach is in communication with our NGO colleagues in the field as well as local Haitian authorities to assess how our skills and resources can be used to help restore water access to these areas.
Haiti Outreach Country Director Neil Van Dine, along with a volunteer Haitian doctor, have left Pignon. They will purchase medical supplies in Port au Prince and should arrive in the southern peninsula by the afternoon. They will coordinate all of their activities with the regional officials. With them they took a truck load of donations from Pignon, including medical supplies from Medsource (thank you Todd Fagley), water filters (thank you CTI), clothes donations, and basic needs packages from Many Hands for Haiti.
In Jeremie, dozens of communal water systems have been disrupted and there is no longer a functioning water system, according to UNICEF. Many affected areas are reporting no longer having access to drinking water, resulting in high risk of water-borne diseases, especially cholera. Reports estimate that $15 million is required to reach the target population with water, sanitation, and hygiene services.
The hurricane poses a risk of a renewed spike in the number of cholera cases due to damage of water infrastructure and ongoing flooding. The World Health Organization (WHO) has reported an increase in cases in Grand’Anse (148 cases), Sud (53 cases), Nord-Ouest (6 cases), and Artibonite (28 cases). Getting supplies of clean water and medication to the million plus people affected is crucial to prevent a serious cholera outbreak in the area.
According to the last figures issued by the government, it is estimated that 1,410,907 people are in need humanitarian assistance, representing 12.9% of the population of the country (10.9M).
Haitian authorities have announced a three-day period of mourning.
Communication to the hardest hit area is starting to come in, and numbers of affected people are rising. Official numbers being reported by OCHA indicate a total of 336 people were killed, but news sources are reporting that the death toll has surpassed 1,000 people.
Initial feedback is that the road to Les Cayes might be passable. Crossing the river in Petit Goave, where the bridge collapsed, is possible but very slow.
According to the last figures issued by the government, it is estimated that 750,000 people are in need of humanitarian assistance. The UN World Food Program has delivered 25 tons of food to Jeremie (Grand Anse department), which will enable 9,000 people to meet their immediate food needs for one week.
Haiti Outreach has pulled together a small medical team of Haitian doctors, who are friends of Haiti Outreach, that will be traveling to the hurricane affected area next week with supplies. Hospitals are receiving hundreds of injured patients, and all have needs for medical supplies, medication, water and personnel. In five departments, out of 10 hospitals or health centers, six were intact and functioning, one was partially damaged and functioning, and three were damaged and non-functioning.
Assessments have only just begun due to severe weather conditions and lack of ground access. Reports so far indicate that 108 people have been killed, with numbers unfortunately expected to rise. Up to 80% of harvest has been lost in some areas, putting pressure on food resources.
The Haitian government has closed all schools on the island until Monday Oct 10.
Haiti Outreach will be responding to the affected area with supplies for clean water and medical aid. Neil Van Dine, Haiti Outreach Country Director, is communicating with “friends of Haiti” to pull together the in-country team that will deploying to the southern peninsula.
Communication is still limited in the departments of Grand Anse and South, where the wind produced severe damages. One of the main roads to deliver assistance to the affected communities is inaccessible due to the collapse of a bridge in the town of Petit Goave.
The Haitian authorities have postponed presidential and legislative elections originally scheduled for Sunday, October 09th, until an assessment of the damage caused by the hurricane is made.
Category 4 Hurricane Matthew struck the south-west coast of Haiti at 7:00am local time. Wind speeds of 230km/h were recorded, causing widespread damage, flooding and displacement. The most affected departments are Grand Anse, South, Nippes and South East, where heavy floods were recorded.
Although at this time communication to this area of the country has been very limited, we know that this area is very rural and we can only imagine the catastrophic situations being faced by the people that call the southern Haitian peninsula home.
The combination of extreme wind and storm surge has likely damaged most of the area’s infrastructure, leaving people uncertain if they will have homes to which to return. Many people will be left with the few belongings they were able to carry out when evacuating. Transportation in the area is difficult because of washed out or impassable bridges and flooded roads.
Everyone from our Haiti Outreach office in Pignon is safe, as we are distanced from the storm center and only reporting heavy rains.