As of today, Monday, August 16th, news reports estimate that more than 1,200 people have lost their lives as a result of the earthquake that impacted Haiti on Saturday. Here is a message from Rapha International leadership:
Thank you all for the concerned messages and urgent prayers for Haiti. Rapha’s staff and girls are all safe after this weekend's earthquake. It was felt strongly in the Port au Prince area, but no damage or injuries occurred at the aftercare campus.
The southern region of Haiti was hit hard. We have heard heartbreaking stories, like the church that collapsed during a baptism service killing at least 20 people (mostly children) and injuring more. We have seen the pictures and videos. We are hearing from friends who are sleeping outside (along with everyone else in their neighborhoods) because the aftershocks continue and it doesn't feel safe to be inside.
The government of Haiti along with community leaders have been in negotiations with armed gangs who control the southern outskirts of Port-au-Prince since last June. They are working to reach a truce which will allow safe passage of supplies and humanitarian workers. Some roads and bridges in the South have been damaged and are under assessment by Haiti Public Works. These conditions make it even more difficult to provide life-saving services to those affected by the earthquake.
Haiti is a country of people with earthquake trauma stored in their bodies and brains. Even in the areas not physically affected by the earthquake, there is deep fear and anxiety that has been triggered. Please pray for the mental health of everyone there, as the layers of trauma and stress continue to build. Of course, pray also for those directly impacted, who have lost loved ones and homes, those injured and in pain in a place with limited medical resources, and for the first responders working tirelessly to address immediate needs.
Additionally, Tropical Storm Grace is on track to hit southern Haiti tonight. Please pray for everyone in the path of the storm, especially those whose homes were destroyed this weekend. Many are without shelter, and weathering this storm will be tremendously difficult.