Thursday, October 25, 2012

Leogane and St. Etienne after Sandy

I'm watching the news right now, as we have power.  They're interviewing someone from Leogane, and I can see flooded houses behind them.  I don't understand all of it, but I hear that there are a lot of people without food or potable drinking water.  Leogane, mind you, was the epicenter of the earthquake, and also the area where I spent the summer of 2009. I'm assuming Darbonne is a mess, too; it's only fifteen minutes from Leogane proper (town as opposed to region - think New York).

Here is a photo via a news site here:
Leogane following Hurricane Sandy
This same site, from which I quoted earlier, has an update.  Among other news, there has been a landslide in Kenscoff, where we have a fallen-in house (in bad shape before the earthquake - we'd hoped to develop a retreat center there - someday!). 

An excerpt from the article:
Alta Jean Baptiste, director of the Civil Protection has declared in a press conference "...we evacuated 5.665 people to temporary shelters [...] there are 1.372 houses destroyed, particularly in the department of South and in the zone of ​​Nippes and of the Grande Anse particularly on the coastal [...] we have 4 municipalities in the department of South-East who are severely flooded, all the municipalities of the department of Nippes are under water [...] from tomorrow if the weather is better, teams will continue with assessments [...]"

You can read more here:

A friend of mine posted some photos and messages over the last 24 hours from St Etienne, a parish in the mountains south of Leogane heading towards Jacmel.  He gave me permission to post a couple of photos and comments from his Facebook page, which I'll share below.

St Etienne kindergarten following Sandy
Messages from yesterday (Wednesday):
Too much rains and heavy winds on the region. People lose their gardens, no clean water, any help from the government, wow.......prayers please.


The farmers of St. Etienne's region lose their garden and some animals as cow and pork. They were in await to sell and be able to buy supplies for their children to go to school and in some cases pay the tuition, no hope. The Sandy storm destroys everything and they are always forgotten by all initiatives of the central government. So, misery and poverty will be touchable. Prayers and actions required.

Hurricane Sandy took the preschool's roof.
 A message from today (Thursday):

Storm Sandy left many damages in the community of St. Etienne. We lost our worship place, we lost the roof of our preschool (kindergarten) and the toilet of the school. So, more complications......

Meanwhile, prosaic details for those of us with fewer problems include wondering whether or not yesterday's laundry, in a permanent rinse cycle outside, will dry before Tuesday.  I've also heard that they've cancelled school for tomorrow (Haiti's version of the snow day, I guess), as the status is still "alerte rouge" - red alert.  I am in the process of double-checking that the seminary class I was to teach tomorrow is also cancelled.     How fortunate I am to have such petty things to worry about here.  My mind and heart are out with those who really do have something to deal with.     Please pray for St. Etienne, Leogane, and all the other areas affected by wind and rain and flood.   A prayer via another Haiti blog entry for today:     So, God of the universe
Do you hear the cries
That pour out from all the earth?
Can your hands of glory reach down and heal the hurt of the broken?
And God of eternal things - will you give us eyes to see all the light you bring?
Will you be the voice that causes our hearts to sing for the broken?
Can we fall in love again for the first time?
God of the universe when we hear the cries that pour out from all the earth will you give us hands to reach out and heal the hurt of the broken?


  1. Hi! I'm sorry I didn't answer your comment. Our neighborhood was fine. The worst we experienced was extreme cabin fever. Many others weren't so fortunate! Glad laundry is your main problem.

  2. thanks for posting.