Earthquake, storms and floods: the endless ordeal of Haitians

Earthquake, Storms and Floods: the Endless Ordeal of Haitians

Haiti It was sinking deeper and deeper into chaos on Tuesday, when the earthquake victims found themselves helpless in the face of the severe storm caused by a new tropical storm.

Soaked and exhausted, residents had no choice but to relieve themselves on flood-threatened streets.

In the city of The Keys, more than 200 people set up precarious shelters on a flooded soccer field, under persistent wind and rain.

All were victims of Saturday’s 7.2 earthquake, which reduced tens of thousands of homes to dust in seconds. At least 1,400 people died, according to a still provisional balance.

With only a shower cap to protect herself from the water, Magalie Cadet is exhausted from the three days of hardship she just endured.

“Even to relieve ourselves we have nowhere to go, so we have to search the streets to do it.”Laments this 41-year-old woman, her nerves on edge due to the constant aftershocks of the earthquake.

“Last night I took refuge near the church, but when we felt that the earth was shaking again, I ran back here”, sighs.

Some 6,900 people, some of whom were pulled from the piles of rubble, were injured by the tremors. The authorities have appealed to blood donors.

A Haiti earthquake victim and her son protect themselves as best they can from Tropical Storm Grace near Les Cayes. (REGINALD LOUISSAINT JR / AFP).
A Haiti earthquake victim and her son protect themselves as best they can from Tropical Storm Grace near Les Cayes. (REGINALD LOUISSAINT JR / AFP).

Better “wet than dead”

The ordeal of the victims who sleep in the open were added by the showers of Tropical Storm Grace on Tuesday. The rains are likely to cause “major flooding” in some areas, according to the Miami-based US Hurricane Center.

In these conditions, the Haitian authorities asked that the “extreme vigilance” be “extreme vigilance” for the cracked houses, which could end up collapsing under the weight of the rain.

The United States, which has evacuated about 40 people for urgent treatment, has chartered eight helicopters to measure the extent of the disaster using aerial images.

Access to water also remains very limited in some places, such as in the commune of Pestel, where more than 1,800 cisterns are cracked or destroyed.

A few months after the terrible 2010 earthquake, which killed 200,000 people, mismanagement of sewage at a UN base facilitated the spread of cholera in the country.

People gather near a water truck after the earthquake in Camp-Perrin, Haiti. (REGINALD LOUISSAINT JR / AFP).
People gather near a water truck after the earthquake in Camp-Perrin, Haiti. (REGINALD LOUISSAINT JR / AFP).

Residents hurriedly building open-air shelters were dejected.

“We had a really bad time last night. Lots of wind and then rain. I sat there, the gusts poured water on us”Says Natacha Lormira, holding in one hand the thin piece of wood to which a torn canvas is attached.

“I don’t want to go under a gallery or a corner of a wall, because we’ve all seen people die under pieces of walls. So we resigned ourselves: it is better to be wet than dead “, regrets.

“The state does nothing”

Soaked from the continuous rain, Vladimir Gilles tries to plant some bamboo pieces deep enough in the grass to protect his wife and son.

A young man injured as a result of the earthquake receives support from his family in the hospital "Community of Reference" and Port-Salut, Haiti. (REGINALD LOUISSAINT JR / AFP).
A young man injured as a result of the earthquake receives support from his relatives at the “Communautaire de Référence” hospital in Port-Salut, Haiti. (REGINALD LOUISSAINT JR / AFP).

“My house is destroyed, I have nowhere to sleep. We need a plastic sheet just to sleep dry, but the State does nothing, ”says this 28-year-old.

Prime Minister Ariel Henry declared a state of emergency for a month in the four departments affected by the disaster.

But the poorest country in the Caribbean faces political chaos, a month after the assassination of its president Jovenel Moise, which complicates its governance.

Melissa Galbraith
Melissa Galbraith is the World News reporter for Globe Live Media. She covers all the major events happening around the World. From Europe to Americas, from Asia to Antarctica, Melissa covers it all. Never miss another Major World Event by bookmarking her author page right here.