Hurricane Matthew hit Haiti on Tuesday, causing widespread destruction and many deaths – especially in the southwestern provinces.
Our compound in Leogane was hit with high winds and a lot of rain, but no serious damage was incurred. The worst of the damage was a large mango tree that was torn out by its roots, but it landed safely without damaging any buildings or the wall. You can read more about the hurricane on our Facebook page.
Blue Ridge is extending aid to the people in the areas that were hardest hit. You can contribute to the work by making a donation at our donations page.
Here is a report from the field:
Leaving PAP heading west, we saw very little damage until we reached Gressier, where we saw some downed trees, standing water, and broken bannana trees. Leogane had some wind damage, but we saw no significant signs of wind until after Miragoane. As we progressed towards Les Cayes, the damage steadily increased with several houses missing roofs and flooded. Also gardens severely damaged by wind and runnning water.
Heading west towards Jeremie, (On your maps this is the road from Les Cayes to Port Salut.), we found similar damage with at or over 70% of houses providing some shelter, but gardens pretty well destroyed. We shoveled through a landslide blocking the road, then a few miles farther, there was a marked change in the situation. We believe at this point we entered the area of the strong force winds of the hurricane. We came upon the remains of a small village of perhaps 75-100 houses. There were only 2-3 houses still standing. The rest of the houses were totally destroyed. There was a small school building with a concrete roof which was still intact, and all the villagers had gathered in this building. Everything was flattened, trees were all down, a couple of trucks had been blown over on their sides by the wind. Many cows and goats were killed. Immediately past this point, which we estimate to be roughly 40-50 miles from the western tip of the island, the road was completely blocked by a large landslide, and we were unable to pass.
Our immediate plan for tomorrow, Thursday the 6th, is to return with 2 Bobcats, 3 pickup loads of food and a load of tarps. Our plan is to work on opening the road to provide access to the interior so that more distribution work can be done, while at the same time distributing food and tarps to the village that is currently accessible.