Earthquake Relief in Port au Prince

Although the roads between Thomassique and Port au Prince are generally better than the road to Thomassique from Banica, they were particularly crowded because of the many earthquake relief programs that were underway as well as the road damage that had been caused by the earthquake.  The 80 mile trip took more than 5 hours.

 

 




The first part of the trip was a fairly smooth ride.  The northern part of the route was an improved road, and the day was clear.



 

 

 

 

Even there, however, our truck had to share the road with slower vehicles.








It was not until we got a lot closer to Port au Prince that we started to see some of the effects of the earthquake, first in buildings along the side of the road.



 

 

 

 

As we got in to Port au Prince, we found that the earthquake had also damaged the road system.

 

 

 

 

It was clear from looking at some of the buildings why so many people died in this earthquake.  It is hard to imagine how they will ever rebuild some of their homes.



 

 

 

 

At Adventist Hospital, our doctors and nurses stayed in tents, just outside the hospital.  They worked 10 hour days and some nights as well.

 

 

 

 

 

They relied on this water purification system for potable water.



 

 

 

 

Each day began with a meeting of our doctors and nurses with other volunteers that came from all over the world.







 
People lined up outside the hospital for hours, often waiting overnight to see a doctor or nurse.   

 

 

 

 

When they were finally admitted, triage took place in the open.  Translators were standing by to help with the language differences.

 

 

 

 

Most people that were seen at the hospital had no home to return to.  Many had no families to re-join.  Those who choose to stay in the Port au Prince area will live in tent cities such as this for a long time.



 

 

The tent cities can be seen throughout the region.  Because of the prospects of long-term displacement and not knowing what life might be like in Port au Prince for years to come, some are choosing to emigrate to other parts of the country, including the Central Plateau, where the Medical Missionaries clinic is in Thomassique.  The health-related programs we are developing at the clinic will help those people as well as the current residents of the Thomassique region.



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