Haiti: Severe earthquake shakes southwest of the country – Malteser International preparing emergency aid

Cologne/Port-au-Prince. On Saturday morning local time, an earthquake with the magnitude of 7.2 shook Southwest Haiti. The quake occurred eight kilometers from the town of Petit Trou de Nippes, about 150 kilometers from the capital Port-au-Prince. More than 300 people died. The Malteser International team in Haiti is preparing first emergency relief efforts for the people affected.

“The earthquake was as strong as the severe quake of 2010, when more than 300,000 people lost their lives. We expect yesterday’s quake to have devastating consequences. For years, we have been supporting the people in this region, as they are particularly vulnerable. The stone houses in the affected region, in the department of Nippes, are simple constructions. The employees of our local partner organizations report that buildings have collapsed like a house of cards. Our colleagues are all safe, but according to current information, more than 300 people died. We will now start an extensive emergency response,” says Carla Wehmeier, Malteser International’s Project Manager for Latin America and the Caribbean.

“I am deeply shocked. It’s hard to imagine what the people in Haiti have been going through. They bareley had anything yesterday. Today, they literally have nothing. We are focussing our aid efforts on the department of Nippes. We have known the people we work with for many years. We will now provide help as soon as we can,” says Yolette Etienne, Malteser International’s project coordinator in Haiti.

Malteser International has been working in Haiti, mainly in the department of Nippes, since the reconstruction after the earthquake in 2010. Over the past eleven years, staff have rebuilt schools, a health center and sanitary facilities, among other things, making them earthquake proof. Malteser International is also planting kitchen gardens to allow people to provide for themselves and reforests mangrove forests.

Source: Malteser

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