Concern teams ready to respond Hurricane Matthew emergency

OCHA Hurricane Matthew situation report.
News4 October 2016Sadhbh Goodhue

As Hurricane Matthew hits the coast of Haiti, it’s anticipated that as many as five million people – or half the entire population – will be affected by this category four hurricane.

Source: UN OCHA

Concern has been working in Haiti since 1994 and our 130-strong team on the ground has already pre-positioned emergency supplies in Port-au-Prince, Saut d’Eau and La Gonâve. This will help up to reach 1,200 people in the immediate aftermath of the crisis.

Nellie Kingston, Concern’s Country Director in Haiti, spoke on RTÉ Radio One’s Morning Ireland this morning to explain:

We already have contingency stocks in place. We have many life-saving items such as blankets, shelter equipment and aqua tablets because once the hurricane hits things like electricity and water supplies very quickly become compromised.

Storm surges of up to 16 metres have been predicted to hit the disaster-prone Caribbean country, with hurricane force winds and rainfall of up to 40 inches in places. Extensive damage, including flooding and landslides, is expected. National and international emergency mechanisms have sprung into action, and over 55,000 people have already been evacuated from the most vulnerable coastal areas in the west and north of the country. Schools have closed and have been prepared for use as shelters.

Extreme vulnerability

Haiti suffered a devastating earthquake in 2010 which killed over 300,000 people. One and a half million were left homeless and 8,655 people died from a cholera outbreak which began at the end of 2010. While the country is on a path to recovery, many people still live in temporary emergency shelters which exacerbate their vulnerability in the case of extreme weather like this.  When the hurricane passes through Concern’s teams are prepared to assess the needs of the Haitian people and respond accordingly.

Concern Haiti Director reports from Port-au-Prince today

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