Urgent Update: FFTP Responds to Haiti Earthquake After Torrential Flooding
COCONUT CREEK, Fla. (June 6, 2023) Three days after heavy flooding submerged parts of Haiti, Food For The Poor (FFTP) is responding to an urgent need for aid in the southern part of the country after an earthquake struck early Tuesday, killing at least four people.
Three containers with family food kits and hygiene kits will be loaded at the charity’s Coconut Creek warehouse today and Wednesday and will be shipped to Haiti on Friday to replenish goods en route to or already at the port in Haiti.
The magnitude 4.9 quake struck before dawn offshore near Jeremie, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. The latest crisis comes as Haiti is recovering from massive flooding over the weekend that killed at least 51 people, injured 140 and flooded more than 31,600 homes.
“There is considerable damage and the hospitals are receiving injured,” Food For The Poor-Haiti Executive Director Mario Nicoleau said. “Lots of panic, as you can imagine.”
The quake occurred in the same area where a new bridge in Jeremie was covered by floodwaters from Saturday’s torrential rains, cutting off the area. The bridge was installed after the previous span collapsed following a 7.2-magnitude quake in August 2021 that killed more than 2,200 people.
To make a donation, visit www.foodforthepoor.org/haitiflooding
Read more below on how FFTP is responding to the flooding in Haiti:
Food For The Poor (FFTP) is responding to an urgent need for aid in Haiti after torrential rains on Saturday unleashed widespread flooding in Port-au-Prince and several other departments, displacing thousands and wiping out crops in the central region.
Photos and videos showed streets turned into raging rivers of brown water.
Haiti’s Civil Protection Agency said the weekend floods killed at least 51 people, injured 140 and flooded nearly 31,600 homes.
FFTP’s team in Haiti has supplies on the ground and is assessing the needs to mobilize aid.
Though the weather improved on Monday, FFTP-Haiti Executive Director Mario Nicoleau said many areas in Port-au-Prince were under water on Saturday.
“I was leaving my house to go render assistance, and the road has become the river,” Nicoleau said Saturday.
Here’s how FFTP is responding:
- On Friday, FFTP will send two disaster relief kits and two pallets of 5-gallon buckets from its Coconut Creek warehouse. Additionally, 10,000 hygiene kits will be sent to respond to the flood and for future disaster response needs this hurricane season. Volunteers are coming weekly to pack 14,000 food kits, and those assembled so far will be included in Friday’s shipment set to arrive in Haiti on Monday.
- FFTP has shipped two containers of disaster blankets donated by partner Matthew 25: Ministries that arrived in Haiti on May 23, with two more containers set to arrive later this month.
- FFTP has shipped 2,800 family emergency kits from partner Global Medic that are due to arrive in Haiti this month. Each kit provides hygiene supplies for an average family of five for three months, or a total of about 14,000 people.
- In addition, more than 200 containers of aid are en route or at the port in Haiti, including more than 80 containers of rice from Taiwan, plus additional food, medicine and medical supplies as part of the charity’s regular shipments to Haiti, unrelated to its response to the flooding.
Watch this video provided to FFTP of a man carrying a baby in floodwaters in Léogâne, Haiti: https://youtu.be/SjJ0LX49UKY
The deluge was not associated with a tropical disturbance in the Gulf of Mexico, which became the first named storm of the 2023 Atlantic hurricane season on Friday before weakening back to a depression. But the impact from even a heavy rainstorm raises a new urgency in a country that has been wracked for months by extreme poverty and violence, a cholera outbreak and a deepening hunger crisis.
Last week, two United Nations agencies warned of a worsening food crisis in Haiti.
FFTP-Haiti team members reported that two of the charity’s regional distribution centers in Haiti’s southern peninsula had run out of food and supplies.
The main road to the south out of Port-au-Prince has been blocked for months by gangs. Shipping goods by barge also has been stymied because of the blockades.
The New York Times reported on Monday that residents have taken up arms in a vigilante campaign to reclaim streets in Haiti’s capital.
FFTP President/CEO Ed Raine said the charity has continued to distribute aid when windows of opportunity allow it to be done safely while waiting for the right moment to respond on a massive scale.
Last week, just before the flooding, FFTP-Haiti distributed food kits to 378 families in Pistere, Bas Fosse, Demier, Dumas and Miniere. The kits contain enough food to feed the average family for a week. Volunteers at FFTP’s Hearts United Community Day event in December packed the kits containing rice, pasta, cornmeal, canned fruit, vegetables, beans and vegetable oil.
“The images of the rising waters from Saturday’s flooding are terrifying,” Raine said. “So many families were already struggling due to the ongoing crisis and need our help. We’re grateful to our volunteers for assembling these food and hygiene kits and to our generous donors and partners who are allowing us to respond immediately and come to the aid of these families.”
Food For The Poor, one of the largest international relief and development organizations in the nation, does much more than feed millions of hungry children and families living in poverty primarily in 17 countries of the Caribbean and Latin America. This interdenominational Christian ministry provides emergency relief assistance, water, medicine, educational materials, homes, support for vulnerable children, care for the aged, skills training and micro-enterprise development assistance. For more information, please visit www.FoodForThePoor.org.