Hurricane Irma Update from Cap- Haitien

September 11, 2017                                                                                                                                                                               

Dear Friends,

We want to first of all thank you for your concern and support for us and the people of Haiti.  
As you may know by now, northern Haiti was more than spared from a direct hit.  Irmaveered just far enough northward and out of range so Cap- Haitien did not suffer major hurricane level effects. There was some significant wind and rain here, as far as we know, there were no storm related deaths in our area of Haiti, and very few injuries.    

While we are grateful that the storm passed here, our hearts go out to those who were in, and remain in its destructive path.  For me, this is a stark reminder of how vulnerable so many people are- especially the poorest people who live exposed in the lowest lying areas- where there are so few options for protection in everyday life, let alone from this type of fury.  Having seen some footage from places that were hit that have significantly more infrastructure, I cannot even imagine what it would have been like here if the impact of Hurricane Irma had been more severe.

I think that this Miami Herald article does a pretty good job of summarizing the situation.  As the article says, when people here are told to evacuate, there is virtually nowhere to go that would be safe under these extreme conditions.  If there had been a direct hit here, I am certain that there would have been mass casualties.  The health sector and health facilities can play a bigger role, bringing their assets to the table in service to the protection of their communities.

While today, we turn our attention and concern for those recovering from this storm and those still in its dangerous path, tomorrow there will still be much work to be done here to minimize people’s extreme vulnerabilities.  Thank you again for your continued support for our work to strengthen the health sector’s ability to address every day and extreme vulnerabilities.  
 

Sincerely,

Executive Director, Konbit Sante