Sunday, January 17, 2010

First Person Report From Haiti

From my friend, Larry, a retired Coastie whose last duty assignment was at the Embassy in Port-au-Prince. He still retains close contact with a Catholic church there:

I don't know were to start to tell you how bad the situation is in Port-au-Prince. Help has been slow in reaching the victims, causing more victims... Most of the city and surroundings are destroyed. No electricity there, and practically no phone services anywhere in the country. I am at a loss trying to communicate in my own area which had no damage. Now, there is a gas shortage all over, making things still worst... and so even here, the electricity is being rationed, which means that I'm having a hard time keeping up with the internet services which are not too good. All our scolastics left Turgeau today, and arrived in Gabions, on way to their new assignements in different parishes. The Procure is like the house where the "lady lived in a shoe... " Price is here with Toto for now, and my 3 visitors from California, us four, and five others !!! Another contingency is expected to land here tomorrow... We have practically no liquidity left, with all the banks closed, and not soon to open. I am sure from what I heard that the death toll will exceed the 300,000 mark!!! There is not a person I talk to that does not have a death in the family... We still don't know how many priests,seminarians, and religious are dead... or still dying because not enough help is on hand to save them. Leogane is 90% gone, great destruction from Petit Goave all the way to Cabaret !!! Boy, were we lucky in the South!!! We have no news at all of the Jacmel area , and so I presume it's like the South... Where the quake hit hard everybody is living and sleeping in their "yards"... or in the streets. Whatever is left standing is not safe. The Turgeau Scolasticate is completely destroyed, as well as the Annexe of the Provincial House. The old section of Prov. House is cracked and unsafe. The confreres there are living in the back yard near the steps... The stench of dead corpses is all over town, so bad that they are burning the corpses... Blanchard area suffered no damage, and all the scos. there are OK, but must leave because theres nothing left to stay for!!! There is not one school, church, or any type of public building left in the whole area, nor decent private home, just a few here and there... with no where to go. The roads are open, but there 's a huge crack in Tapion, near Petit Goave where fuel trucks , and big transport can't get through. Since everything was centralised in the Capitol, now the whole country is affected. Since the govenment has also collapsed, law and order is starting to break down. We will need those 10,000 US Forces... It will take a miracle to get all the countries involved in the rescue mission and rebuilding to really put their act together... and in time !!! It is now after midnight, Joe, and I must say a little prayer before I go to bed. I'll try to get back to you soon. We all appreciate your concern and especially your prayers for more strength in this terrible ordeal, much like the Book of Job... Bye, Fred,omi

I simply cannot imagine how very bad it is now, considering how very bad it was before the quake. And there is little or no way to get help in to them. God speed.


  1. This whole thing most certainly IS heart-rending. Godspeed, indeed.

  2. thankful for the US military and for the generous American relief Samaritan's Purse (one of my personal favorites). I know there are people in Haiti from all over the world, but it is the US military that has gotten the airport running smoothly enough to get relief workers and supplies in. It will be the US military that gets the supplies to the people in a major way (maybe beginning today, they think), and it will be the US military that will keep law and order until their government can help itself.
    That "evil" US it again!