Disasters & Accidents

Robbers target trucks carrying food to Haiti earthquake victims

Port-au-Prince, Aug 20 (EFE).- Four trucks loaded with food aid were looted Friday while en route to earthquake-stricken southwestern Haiti.

“It it with indignation that we learned that unidentified individuals have plundered four trucks that were going to bring assistance to the affected communities,” Food for the Poor, the Florida-based charity that arranged the shipment, said.

The trucks were supposed to deliver rations to Abricot, Pestel, Jeremie and Caimite Island, which were among the locations hit hardest by last Saturday’s magnitude-7.2 temblor, which left 2,189 people dead and another 12,268 injured, according to the latest figures.

The quake also destroyed nearly 53,000 homes and damaged more than 77,000 others, forcing many people to sleep in the open as even southern Haiti was drenched by rains from Tropical Storm Grace.

Two trucks were assaulted in front of the police station in Dichiti, while the others were robbed in Camp-Perrin and Riviere Glace, respectively, Food for the Poor said.

Earlier Friday, three ships from the Dominican Republic, Haiti’s neighbor on the island of Hispaniola, arrived in Jeremie with food and medicine.

The vessels are part of a five-ship Dominican navy flotilla laden with 60 tons of relief supplies.

The Dominican government has also set aside a portion of the San Isidro airbase in Santo Domingo to serve as a staging area for Haiti-bound aid.

Hospitals in Les Cayes, the largest city in the affected area, continued Friday to see a stream of people with injuries caused by the quake.

Ofatma Hospital has been forced to treat patients in the hallways and set up a tent in its central courtyard to accommodate the overflow.

One of the new arrivals on Friday was Louisene Chery, who walked in complaining of severe pains on one side of her body as the result of a wall collapsing onto her during the earthquake

“All of the concrete blocks fell on me, I tried to avoid them, but I couldn’t,” she told Efe after undergoing a preliminary examination. “Sometimes I feel better, but at the moment I feel like I am losing all my ribs.”

Marc Elie Vital said that he was at another hospital recovering from an injury suffered in a motorcycle accident when the temblor struck.

“My foot, which had begun to heal, broke again. So I have returned,” he said.

Some patients who were airlifted to the capital on the day of the quake for complex procedures are back in Ofatma for post-operational care.

“From Saturday to Monday I was here. Tuesday they transferred me to Port-au-Prince, they operated on me there yesterday,” a woman named Lucenne told Efe.

This latest disaster comes just weeks after the assassination of Haitian President Jovenel Moise and threatens to deepen the misery of a country that has yet to fully recover from a January 2010 earthquake that killed as many as 300,000 people and displaced 1.5 million. EFE


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