The cyclone Matthew: a new challenge to the legendary hope of the Haitians

on 10 Oct, 2016
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Haiti, 10/08/2016, Community of Notre Dame de la Présentation.- In the early days of October, we heard of Hurricane Matthew, passing through the Colombian coast and the force of its assault. The Haitian people were more focused on the long-awaited presidential elections finally fixed on Sunday 9 of the current month.

On October 2, it was announced that Matthew would pass through Haiti considering its route. At the recommendations of the provisional government, we closed our institutions (The school, Holy Spirit Clinic and the Pediatric Center); the people were given warning to stay at home or to go to the shelters opened for the occurrence. On October 3 and 4 we had rain, cold, humidity, heavy wind making communications impossible. On October 5, inclement weather ceased however conserving the clouds; the rain stopped and diminished the force of the wind. Therefore, we opened the two health centers to respond to the needs of people around. In our surroundings, we saw the debris and mud, results of the hurricane, communications were still difficult and we did not know the happenings in the rest of the country, but we expected that, as in our sector, there were only torrential rains.

As communications restored, when your messages, calls and emails began to arrive bringing echoes of alarm and concern, we begin to become aware of the scale of the disaster: North and South (especially south) were seriously affected. The south totally lost communication network. We came to know from your messages, of the loss of hundreds of lives. The destructions were terrible, of crops, livestock and thousands of homes. Haiti was beginning to recover from the impact of the earthquake; it is stuck by another natural disaster, which once again provoked the cry of Haitians to the good God (Bondye Papa) who is their only support in suffering. Some rescue teams had begun to arrive in the area. We started to receive news and pictures of the zone of the disaster. Sisters, the situation is horrific. We, sisters have not suffered at all, but the people have lost everything.

The honorary consulate of Colombia has asked Sr. Gloria Inés González to provide facilities of Saint Charles Borroméo School, for storage and subsequent distribution of humanitarian aid sent by the government and the people of Colombia. A group of health professionals of Puerto Rico, with a great plan of solidarity with Haiti, has asked our community to welcome 10 members of their team, to coordinate the arrival of the rescue team and humanitarian aid.

Sisters, thank you for your concern for us, for your calls and messages. We are sure that you pray for the people who are severely tested. We ask you to continue your prayers and encourage effective solidarity for those who lost everything. They are now exposed to not only their misery but also all kinds of epidemics, including cholera, which already have reported ten cases. In a few days, the images of the disaster will not appear in the media, probably hoarded for breaking news, but these people will bear the burden of such a destruction.

“Ou banm tout sa n bezwen          "You give us all that we need
pou nou viv.                                      To live.
O mèsi Bondye,                                Thank you good God,
O mèsi Papa.”                                  Thank you Papa".

Photos ceded by Pascal Van Slingerland