Staff and partners in Haiti are reporting heavy rains, winds, and flooding as a result of Hurricane Sandy, which has reached Category 2 status. Direct Relief has reached out to its partners in the affected areas to offer medical assistance as needed.
All four partners in Haiti who received Direct Relief’s Hurricane Modules at the beginning of hurricane season (June 1) have been advised to use them as needed and two additional modules located in the Direct Relief warehouse on the ground in Haiti have been made available to any other affected partners. The modules contain enough medicine to support up to 5,000 people for one month. Recently arrived shipments to Haiti containing hundreds of liters of IV fluids are also available to anyone in need.
In certain areas, hospitals and cholera treatment centers have become flooded and in some cases, completely washed away. High-flowing rivers have caused many residents to be cut off from services as roads and bridges have been washed out. People have lost their homes, livestock, and crops due to flooding. Landslides in the capital, Port au Prince, have caused some damage and people in highly unstable areas have been moved to shelters. Most businesses and government buildings are closed today. Immaculate Conception Hospital in Les Cayes was flooded and 51 patients were evacuated to nearby Brenda Strafford Hospital.
Ms. Alta Jean Baptiste, Civil Protection Directorate of the Haiti Minister of Interior, declared in a press conference “…we evacuated 5.665 people to temporary shelters [...] there are 1,372 houses destroyed, particularly in the department of South and in the zone of Nippes and of the Grande Anse particularly on the coastal [...] we have four municipalities in the department of South-East who are severely flooded, all the municipalities of the department of Nippes are under water.”
News sources are reporting greater than expected likelihood of severe weather events along the U.S. East Coast, possibly making landfall as a tropical storm near Philadelphia and affecting coastal areas from Florida to Maine. Direct Relief stands ready to support healthcare facilities affected by severe weather.