In Maniche, a small town in Haiti’s earthquake-decimated southwest, Mayor Jean David Brinard is still calling for help he fears may never arrive for survivors of the quake that killed nearly 200 people in his town.
Nine days after the 7.2 magnitude earthquake on Aug. 14, Brinard’s calls to outside officials for help have not been answered sufficiently, he says. On Saturday, representatives of Haiti’s central government flew by helicopter into Maniche, about 14 miles north of Les Cayes, to assess the damage to roads, houses, churches and schools.
“These are preliminary damage reports, until now several small villages in Maniche are still inaccessible and the government helicopter could not go there to assess the damages because the roads are blocked,” Brinard said.
The visit from the Ministry of Infrastructure and Communication has not been fruitful yet. They promise tents and tarpaulins for 500 families, the Brinard said. He is worried that the number is far from the help needed in the surrounding localities, where roads are blocked.
As of Sunday, Brinard reports, he had counted in Maniche:
- 177 dead, 490 severely injured and 1,206 mildly injured people
- Sixty people missing
- About 5,600 houses destroyed and 1,076 are damaged
- Thirty churches destroyed and 35 damaged
- Twenty-eight schools destroyed and 29 damaged 29
The quake struck at 8:29 a.m. ET on Aug. 14, about five miles from the town of Petit-Trou-de-Nippes in Haiti’s southwest peninsula and 78 miles west of the Haitian capital, Port-au-Prince. Shocks were felt as far away as 200 miles in Jamaica, according to the United States Geological Survey.
The Center for Disaster Philanthropy, in an Aug 19 report, said Haiti is still in great need of an effective and coordinated response to the earthquake.
Haitian Prime Minister Ariel Henry has declared a month-long state of emergency as of Aug. 14 in the most impacted departments, including the Sud, Nippes and Grand-Anse closest to the epicenter.