Thanks to everyone who has been following our posts and progress in the DR. Firstly I would like to apologise for the delay in getting the remaining posts up. Unfortunately the power cable on my laptop broke and finding a replacement wasn’t possible. The Day 4 post is now available and I will post Day 5 & 6 shortly as well as some other general interest videos and photos taken throughout our trip.
Secondly and of far greater concern is the earthquake that hit Haiti’s capital Port-au-Prince on the yesterday, just a day after our departure from the DR. Haiti is on the same island as the Dominican Republic and a number of the children at the San Pedro de Macoris are of Haitian decent and have family members in Haiti. Most of the people living in the batey’s we visited are also Haitian immigrants.
NPH has three facilities in Haiti: St. Hélène, a permanent home for orphaned and abandoned children; Kay Père Wasson or The Father Wasson Center, our former pediatric hospital now used for administration, rehabilitation and educational purposes; and a pediatric hospital called St. Damien Chateaublond.
Haiti has a population of approximately 9 million people and a geographical size of 27,750 sq km (10,714 sq mi). In comparison BC is approximately 945,000 sq km and ON 1,075,000 sq km or slightly smaller than the state of Maryland. Haiti is the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere with approximately 80% living under the poverty line. More than half of the population lives on less than a dollar a day.
News reports tell us that a number of Port-au-Prince has been destroyed with a lot buildings
Haiti’s infrastructure is the world’s worst even in the best of times making communication in these type of events very difficult. Numerous buildings have collapsed including the UN headquarters in Haiti, hospitals and other key buildings.
Please join us as our thoughts and prays go out to the people of Haiti and the families affected by the devastation of this earthquake as well as all the support workers that will try to help in all this destruction.
Here are the latest updates from the NPH team:
(I will continue to post new information as we receive it or you can follow update on the NPH website:http://www.nph.org/)
January 13 10:30 AM CST
We have news that the Fr. Wasson Center in Petionville has collapsed. There is still no phone service in Haiti. More information will be sent as things develop.
January 12, 2010 - Haiti
10:10 PM CST
From early reports it appears that there might be extensive damage to our facilities at both Petionville, Fr. Wasson Center and Tabarre, St Damien Hospital. The extent of damage and possible injuries are as yet unknown.
Updates will follow as soon as we have more news.
9:40 PM CST
This update is to confirm that our family at St. Helen in Kenscoff are safe and okay. There is structural damage at St Damien Hospital and still no information regarding Fr. Wasson Center in Petionville.
7:00 PM CST
On Tuesday, January 12 at 4:53:09 PM (EST) a 7.3 magnitude earthquake hit 10 miles Southwest of Port-au-Prince, Haiti.
The St. Damien hospital in Chateaublond Tabarre, (15 miles northeast of the epicenter) is not the hospital that has reportedly collapsed but the perimeter walls of the hospital, neighbor Kay Germaine complex and neighboring St. Francisville center perimeter walls have all collapsed. Also all of the walls in the hospital are cracked resulting in major structural damage and there are minor injuries.
We are waiting for confirmation regarding the Fr. Wasson Center in Petionville and there are several people on their way to assess the situation. Unfortunately all the phone lines are busy which makes communication more difficult.
We have no news from the St. Helen orphanage in Kenscoff, (11 miles east of the epicenter) which is located at 6600 feet. More than 350 children live at this location.
We will post information as we receive it. Please pray for our NPFS family and the team that is en route to Haiti.