On Tuesday, October 4th, Hurricane Matthew made landfall on Haiti. Matthew passed directly through the Southern peninsula – encompassing Haiti’s entire southern coast – driving the sea inland and flattening homes with winds of up to 145mph and torrential rain. The cities of Les Cayes, on the southwest coast, and Jeremie, in the northwest, were said to be particularly hit hard by the strongest storm to strike the Caribbean region in a decade.
At least 1000 people are believed to have died, and tens of thousands of homes have been destroyed. In total, the U.N. says 1.4 million Haitians are in need of assistance out of 2.1 million affected by the hurricane. In addition to the deaths and destruction wrought by the storm, the hurricane has devastated Haiti’s natural resources and accelerated the rate of cholera propagation.
“Unfortunately, once again, nature has unleashed her fury and Haiti has lived through what I can characterize as three days of terror,” said interim President Jocelerme Privert after the storm.
Sigora Team works around the clock to restore power and deliver emergency assistance
In the immediate aftermath of the hurricane we deployed staff and equipment to support emergency evacuations within the municipality.
As soon as the emergency rescue efforts were over, our Haitian lineman and technicians made restoring power a first priority. While hundreds of thousands across the country are still without electricity, our team was able to restore full power to Mole within 72 hours of the storm. This enabled lights to go back on in the clinic that was operating around the clock to treat the wounded and in the schools and churches that were providing emergency shelter to those who lost their homes; and allowed people to charge cell phones, contact worried family, and coordinate relief efforts.
Most of our staff are from Mole or one of the nearby towns, and there is a strong sense of solidarity with the community. Within 48 hours of the storm making landfall and working through the night, our team organized the purchase (from local vendors), packing and distribution of over 100 packages of emergency aid, including rice, cooking oil, water purification tablets and tarps for those worst-affected by the storm.
Our team continues to assist a significant number of residents in Mole to complete essential repairs to homes damaged by the hurricane.