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Earthquake shatters Haiti February
Sightsavers has now managed to contact all of our partners in Haiti. Following the massive earthquake that struck the country in January.
The 7.0 magnitude earthquake struck close to the surface just 10 miles south west of the capital Port-au-Prince, and was followed by a series of devastating aftershocks. Haitian officials estimate that as many as 200,000 people have lost their lives, and that 75,000 bodies have already been buried in mass graves. Over a million Haitians are now homeless.
Hundreds of thousands of survivors have been left dangerously exposed on the decimated streets of the city without food or shelter, as desperate rescue attempts continue.
During the years that Sightsavers have been supporting programmes in Haiti we have encountered a number of natural disasters which have impacted heavily on our work, such as the hurricanes in 2008. We have seen that the outcomes of our work are fragile and in a few instances our efforts have simply disappeared overnight.
The people of Haiti have shown great strength in adversity in the past, and will need to now. We must too. We are still trying to establish the full impact the earthquake has had on our partners, Société Haïtienne D'Aide aux Aveugles (SHAA - Haitian Society for the Blind) and Comite National de Prevention de la Cecite (CNPC - National Prevention of Blindness Committee). We have heard from the Coordinator of the CNPC, and apparently most of the CNPC members and both the Programme Manager and the Director of SHAA are accounted for. They are providing support to each other and trying to coordinate with emergency agencies to offer their services to those in need.
Sadly however, Immacula, the SHAA's secretary assistant, was killed. Two other employees lost a child each and at least four others lost their houses. SHAA's office has to be knocked down as it suffered such serious damage, and they are now looking for funds to rebuild it.